Russia puts military satellite into orbit

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Moscow, Dec 9 (UNI) A Proton-M rocket, which blasted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, this morning, has put a military satellite into orbit.

A military satellite, the Kosmos-2434, was put into a designated orbit, spokesman for the Russian Space Forces Alexei Zolotukhin told Interfax-AVN news agency.

''Control over the satellite has been taken over by the Main Space Testing and Control Center,'' Lt Col Zolotukhin said.

''Telemetric contact is being maintained with the satellite.

All of its onboard systems are operating normally,'' he said.

The Applied Mechanics Research-and-Production Centre said the Russian orbital grouping consisted of 98 spacecraft, about two-thirds of which were military and dual-purpose spacecraft.

The Russian Space Troops had launched four spacecraft in interests of the Defence Ministry and three satellites of the global positioning system GLONASS earlier in 2007.

Currently, Russia was upgrading the military and dual-purpose orbital grouping, which consisted over 60 spacecraft and covered the whole range of military missions from communications to intelligence.

It has also began tests of new, fully Russian-produced systems.

The spacecraft of the new generation would have an average service life from seven to ten years and 12 to 15 years depending on the types of orbits.

UNI

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