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Dnepr launches Japanese satellites
Posted: Wed, Aug 24, 2005, 12:48 PM ET (1648 GMT)
Dnepr launch (Kosmotras) A converted Russian ICBM successfully launched two Japanese satellites late Tuesday. The Dnepr lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:10 pm EDT (2110 GMT) Tuesday, placing the experimental Japanese satellites into a Sun-synchronous orbit. The primary payload on the Dnepr was the Optical Inter-orbit Communications Engineering Test Satellite (OICETS), a Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) experimental satellite. OICETS, renamed Kirari after launch, is designed to test laser intersatellite communications links with Artemis, an ESA spacecraft that has been in orbit for several years. Also on board the Dnepr was the Innovative Technology Demonstration Experiment Satellite (INDEX), renamed Reimei after launch. Reimei will test how a number of advanced technologies operate in space conditions, and also perform auroral observations. The launch was the fifth orbital mission for the Dnepr, a converted SS-18 ICBM, and the first since mid-2004.
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