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Baikonur dispute delays three launches
Posted: Wed, May 30, 2012, 4:55 AM ET (0855 GMT)
A dispute between the Russian and Kazakh governments has postponed three scheduled launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, including one carrying a European weather satellite. The Kazakh government has blocked the launches from the spaceport, operated by Russia, because of concerns about the location of drop zones where stages from the launches will fall to earth. The launches, planned for polar orbits, require new drop zones not in the existing agreement between the two countries about the use of the spaceport. The dispute has pushed back the Soyuz launch of Europe's MetOp-B weather satellite, as well as launches of a cluster of satellites in June and of a Russian remote sensing satellite in August.
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