LAUNCH OF NEW RUSSIAN BOOSTER SOYUZ-2 DELAYED

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MOSCOW, November 6 (RIA Novosti) - Launch of the new Russian carrier rocket Soyuz-2 from the Plesetsk space center has been delayed for technical reasons, the press service of the Russian Space Forces announced.

"A decision has been made to continue work on repairing the malfunctions detected earlier. The launch date has not yet been determined," the press service reported.

The launch was scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Moscow time Saturday. In its test launch the Soyuz-2 was to put in orbit a dummy of a new type of satellite known as Oblik (Image). The dummy carries a multitude of vibration detectors and thermal sensors designed to test the performance of the engines of the rocket's first- and second-stage launchers.

"The first representative of the new range of Soyuz carrier rockets also boasts an enlarged 4-meter nose cone, which allows it to carry into orbit a 300 kg heavier payload.

In future, Soyuz-2 rockets are planned to start from the Russian launch pad to be built at the Kourou space center in French Guiana.

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