1st Ld-Writethru: Russia launches three military satellites
MOSCOW, Jan 15, 2013 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
A Rokot rocket carrying three
military satellites blasted off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in
northern Russia on Tuesday, the Russian Aerospace Defense Forces
The carrier rocket lifted off at 8:25 p.m. Moscow time (1625
GMT) from the space center, Aerospace Defense spokesperson Alexei
Zolotukhin told local media.
The three satellites are expected to reach their designated
orbit at 10:09 p.m. Moscow time (1809 GMT), he added.
The launch, initially scheduled for early December, was
postponed due to malfunction in the Briz booster built by the
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, according
to the official. It was the first launch of a space rocket by the
Defense Troops from Plesetsk this year.
Russia suspended the launch of Rokot carrier rockets after a
failed launch in February 2011, when the rocket sent a Geo-IK-2
satellite into an incorrect orbit.
The 107-tonne light Rokot launcher is a derivative of the
Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile
The carrier rocket contains two original lower stages of the
ICBM and an upper stage for commercial payloads. It is designed to
place satellites weighing less than two tonnes into low near-Earth
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