MOSCOW, July 21 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian rocket carrying one military and one civilian satellite lifted off on Tuesday from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia, a spokesman for Space Forces said.
"The Cosmos-3M carrier rocket is scheduled to put a military satellite and a Sterkh series satellite at 09.00 Moscow time [05.00 GMT] to expand Russia's segment of the international COSPAS-SARSAT satellite grouping," the official said.
The Sterkh-series satellites are designed to replace the Nadezhda series in the International Satellite System For Search and Rescue (COSPAS-SARSAT). Unlike the Nadezhda satellites, the Sterkh series does not provide navigation services, which have been taken over by Russia's GLONASS system.
The Cosmos-3M is a liquid-fueled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967, with over 410 successful launches to date. The booster has been designed to lift a payload of up to 1,500 kg (3,300 lbs) into low, medium, and high orbits.
Russia has carried out 17 successful space launches since the beginning of 2009.