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    Russian space center loses control of satellite

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    MOSCOW, October 19 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Khrunichev Space Center has lost control of an Earth-probing satellite, a Russian Space Agency official said Wednesday.

    Vyacheslav Davidenko said the agency was very concerned over the news.

    The space center's mission control said it had encountered problems controlling the Monitor-E satellite on October 18. "Specialists at the Khrunichev Center are doing everything possible to regain control of the satellite, but they have failed so far," Davidenko said.

    From the moment it separated from its acceleration unit, the satellite failed to receive commands from Earth.

    "This situation confirms that Khrunichev specialists failed to fully prepare the satellite for flight, although the center's director reported that the space vehicle was ready," he said.

    Davidenko said this was the second failure in the past two months for the Khrunichev Center. Recently, defects were found in a carrier rocket that failed to launch the CryoSat space vehicle into orbit.

    Monitor-E was launched on August 26.

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