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    Russia's Soyuz 2-1B rocket set for inaugural flight Dec.27

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    Russia's Soyuz 2-1B launch vehicle is set to make its maiden flight Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a space official said.

    MOSCOW, December 27 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Soyuz 2-1B launch vehicle is set to make its maiden flight Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a space official said.

    The new version of the Soyuz 2-1A carrier rocket will have a more powerful third-stage engine designed to significantly increase its overall performance and provide additional payload mass capability.

    "This rocket will be the world's best for the kerosene and liquefied oxygen-propelled class of carriers," Viktor Remishevsky, deputy head of Russia's Federal Space Agency, said.

    The launch vehicle is scheduled to put a French Corot satellite into orbit.

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