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Russia delays first space launch in 2009 for one day

RIA Novosti

29/01/2009 17:01 MOSCOW, January 29 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's first carrier rocket launch of 2009, scheduled for Thursday, has been delayed until Friday for technical reasons, a spokesman for the Space Forces said.

A Cyclone-3 carrier rocket was scheduled to lift off at 4:30 p.m. Moscow time (13:30 GMT) from the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia to deliver a Coronas-Photon research satellite into orbit.

"The launch has been tentatively rescheduled for an alternative date - January 30," Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.

Russia's next launch will be the space cargo ship Progress M-66, which will take supplies to the International Space Station on February 10, followed on February 11 by a Proton-M rocket with two new Russian Express-series communications satellites. Both launches will be from Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

The Russian space agency is planning to make a total of 39 space launches this year from the Baikonur and Plesetsk space centers.

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