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Tsiklon launches six communication satellites
Posted: Fri, Dec 28, 2001, 10:32 AM ET (1532 GMT)
A Tsiklon-3 booster placed six small communications satellites into low Earth orbit early Friday. The Tsiklon-3 lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 10:24 pm EST Thursday (0324 GMT, 6:24 am Moscow time Friday). It placed the six satellites into orbits approximately 1,400 km high with an inclination of 82.6 degrees. Three of the spacecraft, Kosmos 2384, 2385, and 2386 are Strela military satellites designed for “store and forward” communications. The other three satellites are civilian versions of the Strela, named Gonets. The launch is likely the last of 2001, one of the least active years for launches since the early days of the Space Age. According to Spaceflight Now there were only 58 successful launches in 59 attempts in 2001. The last year with fewer successful launches was 1963, when there were 55 successes out of 70 attempts.
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