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    The Proton-M rocket, carrying the ExoMars 2016 spacecraft to Mars, blasts off from the launchpad at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, March 14, 2016

    Russian Military Satellite Splits From Proton-M Carrier Rocket

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    The Russian Defense Ministry said that a Russian military satellite mounted atop a Briz-M booster successfully separated from the carrier rocket.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — A Russian military satellite mounted atop a Briz-M booster successfully separated from the carrier rocket in the early hours of Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

    "The top part of the Proton-M space rocket, comprising a Briz-M upper stage and a spacecraft launched in the interest of Russia's Defense Ministry, has separated from the third stage of the Proton-M heavy lifter at 1:17 a.m. as scheduled," the ministry told reporters.

    The rocket took off at 1:07 a.m. Moscow time (22:07 GMT on Wednesday) from Kazakhstan's Baikonur spaceport. The ministry said it would take a few hours for the payload to reach the designated orbit.


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