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    Russia to make 39 space launches in 2009

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    The Russian space agency will make 39 space launches next year from the Baikonur and Plesetsk space centers, the agency press service said on Thursday.

    MOSCOW, December 18 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian space agency will make 39 space launches next year from the Baikonur and Plesetsk space centers, the agency press service said on Thursday.

    Roscosmos said the launches would be made as part of the Federal Space Program, the Glonass federal program, an international cooperation program, and a number of commercial projects.

    Four Soyuz manned spaceships and five Progress freighters will be launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, to the International Space Station (ISS).

    As of next year, the ISS crew is to be increased from three to six.

    A Proton rocket will put into orbit two Express communication satellites, two Glonass satellites, 17 communication satellites, two weather and ocean monitoring satellites, one emergency situations monitoring satellite, and six astrophysical satellites to study planets within the solar system.

    Roscosmos chief Anatoly Perminov previously said that the number of satellites in the Glonass network would be increased to 30 by 2011.

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