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Soyuz launches military satellite
Posted: Tue, Feb 26, 2002, 2:10 AM ET (0710 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Russian Soyuz booster launched a classified military spacecraft Monday in the first Russian launch of 2002. The Soyuz-U rocket lifted off from Plesetsk at 12:26 pm EST (1726 GMT) and placed into orbit a spacecraft officially described only as Kosmos 2387. The launch was delayed by more than two hours because of unspecified "technical factors", according to an Interfax report. The purpose of Kosmos 2387 was not explained by Russian officials, although outside analysts believe it is a Yantar-class imaging reconnaissance satellite. Monday's launch is the first of ten planned from Plesetsk, according to Russian statements. Russian officials have said in the recent past they plan to move most or all launches to the northern Russian cosmodrome from Baikonur in Kazakhstan within the next few years, although recent statements have backed off from this ambitious and unlikely goal.
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