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Russia launches military satellite from Baikonur

RIA Novosti


MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia launched on Thursday a Proton-M rocket carrying a military satellite on board from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Defense Ministry said.

"A Proton-M heavy carrier rocket with a military satellite on board was successfully launched at 03.18 Moscow time [00.18 GMT] on Thursday from the Baikonur space center," Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry, told RIA Novosti.

The separation of the satellite from the rocket is expected at 12.19 Moscow time [09.19 GMT], the official added.

Russia reportedly operates a network of 60-70 military satellites with reconnaissance and missile early warning capabilities.

Commander of Russia's Space Forces, Maj. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko, said on January 15 that Russia would use extensively the new Angara class carrier rockets to deliver military satellites into orbit in the future.

The family of Angara rockets will be available in a range of configurations capable of lifting between from 2 to 24.5 metric tons into low-earth orbit, and its creators say it will have a low environment impact.

The Angara is intended mainly for launch from the Plesetsk space center to reduce Moscow's dependence on Kazakhstan's Baikonur, the main launch facility for the current generation of Russian rockets.

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