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Russia launches Molniya satellite
Posted: Fri, Oct 26, 2001, 10:12 AM ET (1412 GMT)
Molniya launch vehicle illustration (Energia) A Russian Molniya-M booster launched a military communications satellite Thursday. The booster lifted off from the Plestsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 7:34 am EDT (1134 GMT) and placed into orbit a Molniya communications satellite. The satellite is an elliptical, inclined orbit also known as a Molniya orbit that allows it to be seen at high northern latitudes where geosynchronous orbit satellites cannot be easily viewed. The satellite is expected to provide military communications services. The Molniya-M is part of the R-7 family of boosters that includes the Soyuz, and whose heritage dates back to the launch of the first Sputnik satellite in 1957.
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