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Dnepr launches Genesis 2
Posted: Thu, Jun 28, 2007, 9:16 PM ET (0116 GMT)
Dnepr launch (Kosmotras) A converted Russian ICBM successfully launched a prototype of an inflatable commercial habitat on Thursday. The Dnepr rocket, a converted SS-18 ICBM, lifted off from the Yasny launch site in southern Russia at 11:02 am EDT (1502 GMT) and placed the Genesis 2 spacecraft into low Earth orbit. Bigelow Aerospace, the developer of Genesis 2, made initial contact with the spacecraft later in the day and confirmed that the module had inflated and its solar panels had deployed. Genesis 2 is identical in size to Genesis 1, the company's first experimental spacecraft launched nearly a year ago, but features a number of upgraded sensors and additional cameras. The two spacecraft are the first in a series of spacecraft designed to verify the technology required for the later deployment of full-scale inflatable modules that could be used for a variety of commercial purposes.
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