19:30 GMT16 May 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - A Russian carrier rocket with a military satellite blasted off early on Thursday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian Defense Ministry confirmed.

    "The Proton-M heavy-lift rocket with a payload commissioned by the Defense Ministry was successfully launched from Baikonur," a spokesperson for the ministry told reporters.

    The launch took place at 1:12 a.m. Moscow time (22:15GMT) and went off smoothly, the spokesperson added.

    RS-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile launch. File photo
    © Photo : Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation
    A Briz-M upper stage separated from the rocket ten minutes later. The satellite was expected to reach the designated orbit in a few hours, according to the Defense Ministry.

    Previous month, Russia launched a light-class Soyuz-2.1V carrier rocket with a military satellite onboard. TIt was the first launch of the Soyuz rocket from Russian Plesetsk space center in 2018.

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    Tags:
    military satellites, Proton-M, Russia
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