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Zenit launches Russian weather satellite
Posted: Sat, Dec 12, 2015, 10:52 AM ET (1552 GMT)
Zenit launch of Elektro-L2 satellite (Roscosmos) A Zenit rocket launched a Russian weather satellite Friday on what may be the final mission for that launch vehicle. The Zenit-3SLBF lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 8:45 am EST (1345 GMT, 7:45 pm local time) Friday carrying the Elektro-L 2 weather satellite. The rocket's upper stage released the satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit nearly nine hours later. The spacecraft will provide weather data from 77.8 degrees east in geostationary orbit. The launch is the last scheduled mission for the Ukrainian-built Zenit launch vehicle, whose future is clouded by both tensions between Russia and Ukraine and the uncertain fate of the Sea Launch commercial launch venture.
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