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Russia launches military satellite
Posted: Mon, Sep 5, 2005, 11:13 AM ET (1513 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Soyuz rocket successfully launched a Russian military satellite on Friday. The Soyuz-U booster lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:50 am EDT (0950 GMT)and put the Kosmos 2415 satellite into low Earth orbit. Few details were provided by the Russian media about the launch, but Western observers believe the spacecraft is a reconnaissance satellite. The launch was the 1,700th involving the Soyuz family of launch vehicles. Russian military officials also denied a report Monday by the Interfax news service that Russia planned to abandon a smaller spaceport at Svobodny in the Russian Far East by the end of the decade. Svobodny had been seen as a potential alternative to Baikonur, which Russia must lease from Kazakhstan, but Svobodny has been used only sparingly in recent years for launches of the Start-1 small launcher.
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