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Dnepr launches satellites
Posted: Tue, Jun 29, 2004, 8:51 AM ET (1251 GMT)
Dnepr launch (Kosmotras) A Russian Dnepr booster successfully launched a cluster of small satellites for several countries early Tuesday. The Dnepr, a converted SS-18 ICBM, lifted off from a silo at Baikonur at 2:30 am EDT (0630 GMT) Tuesday, placing its payload into a Sun-synchronous orbit approximately 700 km high. The largest of the eight satellites on the mission was Demeter, a 125-kg satellite by the French space agency CNES that is designed to detect electromagnetic signals that may be associated with earthquakes. The spacecraft also carries three small Saudi communications satellites, two LatinSat communications satellites, the amateur radio satellite Amsat-Echo, and an Italian research satellite. Other than Demeter, the satellites all weighed less than 50 kg each. The launch is the first for the Dnepr since December 2002. Another Dnepr launch is tentatively slated for later this year.
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