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Russia puts into orbit 3 communication satellites
September 12, 2013, 9:04 am

[Getty Images]

The satellites will be part of Russia’s low-orbit grouping of telecoms satellites [Getty Images]

Russia has successfully put into orbit three communication satellites, a defence ministry spokesman said Thursday.

“The Rokot carrier rocket, launched today at 03:23 a.m. Moscow Time [23:23 GMT Wednesday] from the Plesetsk state space launch site, successfully put three Gonets-M communications satellites into the final orbit in due time,” Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin said.

The satellites will be part of Russia’s low-orbit grouping of telecoms satellites designed to provide communication services for remote areas of Russia.

Zolotukhin said on Wednesday that the launch followed a nine-month suspension due to attempts to fix a glitch in the rocket’s booster.

Satellite launches were suspended in January after the rocket’s Briz-KM booster failed to put three military satellites into orbit, resulting in the loss of one of the satellites.

The light-class Rokot launch vehicle is a modified version of the Russian RS-18 (SS-19 Stiletto) intercontinental ballistic missile.

A total of 17 Rokot launches have been carried out from the Plesetsk site since the first launch on May 16, 2000, according to the Russian Defence Ministry,

Prior to the most recent launch, Russia’s satellite grouping consisted of three Gonets-M and two Gonets-D1 satellites.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had announced earlier this year that the government will spend 1.7 trillion rubles (£33.5 billion) on the Russian space agency, Roscmosmos from 2013 to 2020.

Source: Agencies

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