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    Russia to conduct 5 space launches before year's end

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    MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Space Agency said Wednesday that it was planning to launch five carrier rockets before the end of December.

    The earliest launch will take place at the Baikonur space center, the launching site Russia leases from Kazakhstan, at 6:38p.m. GMT Wednesday. A Soyuz carrier rocket will put a cargo Progress M-55 spacecraft into orbit.

    A Kosmos-3M with a Gonets-D1M military communications satellite on board will also be launched Wednesday at 7:30p.m. GMT. The launch was originally scheduled for December 20.

    A Proton-K will carry three satellites to replenish Russia's global satellite navigation system, GLONASS. The launch was fixed for December 25.

    A Soyuz-FG carrier rocket will put a European satellite, Galileo, in orbit December 28.

    The launch of a Proton-M with an U.S. telecommunications satellite AMS-23 on board on December 29 will be the final launch in 2005.

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