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Soyuz launches Russian military satellite
Posted: Wed, May 30, 2001, 10:45 AM ET (1445 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Soyuz rocket launched a classified Russian military spacecraft Tuesday evening from Plesetsk. The Soyuz lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 1:55 pm EDT (1755 GMT) and placed into orbit a spacecraft identified only as Kosmos 2377. The nature of the spacecraft was not identified by Russian media sources, but Spaceflight Now said outside experts believed the spacecraft was a military reconnaissance satellite. The launch was believed to be in jeopardy last week when the utility that supplies electrical power to the cosmodrome cut back the amount of electricity it provided because of the cosmodrome's debts to the utility. SPACE.com reported last week that the Russian military agreed to make an initial payment on the $1.8-million debt to avoid a complete loss of the facility's power.
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