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Russia Launches Cluster of Four Satellites

© European Space AgencyRokot carrier rocket
Rokot carrier rocket - Sputnik International
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Russia's Space Forces launched early on Saturday a Rokot carrier rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite and three civilian satellites on board, spokesman Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.

Russia's Space Forces launched early on Saturday a Rokot carrier rocket with a Cosmos class military satellite and three civilian satellites on board, spokesman Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.

The Rokot blasted off from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia at 05.35 a.m. Moscow time (01:35 GMT).

The civilian payload includes two Gonets-M telecoms satellites and a MiR scientific microsatellite.

The satellites were put into designated orbits at 07.21 a.m Moscow time (03:21 GMT), as scheduled.

The classified military satellite received designation Cosmos 2841 after reaching the orbit. It will join a Russian network of about 70 military reconnaissance satellites.

The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile. It uses the two original lower stages of the ICBM, in conjunction with a Breeze-KM upper-stage for commercial payloads.

According to the Russian Defense Ministry, a total of 16 Rokot launches have been carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch on May 16, 2000.

However, Rokot launches have been suspended for about 18 months after a Rokot launched on February 1, 2011 failed to put the Geo-IK-2 military satellite into the designated orbit.

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