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Soyuz returns to flight with Glonass launch
Posted: Tue, Oct 4, 2011, 7:03 AM ET (1103 GMT)
A Soyuz rocket launched a Russian navigation satellite Monday on the first launch for that rocket since a failure in August. The Soyuz 2-1b rocket lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 4:15 pm EDT Sunday (2015 GMT Sunday, 12:15 am Monday Moscow time) and released a Glonass M satellite into medium Earth orbit about three and a half hours later. The launch was the first for a Soyuz rocket since the August 24 failure of a Soyuz rocket carrying a Progress cargo spacecraft bound for the International Space Station. That failure was blamed on a problem with an upper stage engine different from the engine used on this Soyuz launch. The Glonass satellite launched Monday will become the 24th operational satellite in orbit, restoring the navigation constellation to full global service for the first time in 15 years.
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