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    TESTS OF ENGINE FOR RUSSIAN MODERNIZED BOOSTER-ROCKET SOYUZ-2 OVER

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    MOSCOW, March 1, 2004. /RIA Novosti/. The tests of an engine for the modernized space booster-rocket Soyuz-2 have been successfully completed in Russia, reported the defense ministry. The engine, named Rus, will make it possible to increase the missile's load-carrying capacity by almost 15% and considerably lower fuel spending. Its tests were conducted in the producer-enterprise - the Khimavtomatika state company in Voronezh, a regional center in the south-east of the central part of Russia.

    A mass production of engines for the new Soyuz may be launched next year, a spokesman for the enterprise told RIA Novosti.

    Khimavtomatika is a leading Russian design buro creating liquid-fuel missile engines. It also designs equipment for the oil and gas industry.

    In Russian experts' estimates, transition to the modernized Soyuz-2 missile, to be produced in the city of Samara in the Volga area, will allow the country to launch more space satellites and expand the range of similar services which the Rosaviakosmos national airspace agency renders to foreign countries.

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