Russia to launch three military satellites today

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Moscow, May 23 (UNI) A Russian Rokot launch vehicle will put into orbit three military satellites and a civilian spacecraft today.

Russia's satellite designer and manufacturer Reshetnev Applied Mechanics Science and Production Association told RIA Novsti news agency that the carrier rocket will be launched later today from the Plesetsk space centre, in northwest Russia.

The Rokot launch vehicle, developed by the state-run Khrunichev Centre, is a modification of the RS-18 (SS-19 Mod 1 Stiletto) two-stage ballistic missile that is being decommissioned from Russia's Strategic Missile Forces.

The rocket is designed to put spacecraft weighing less than two tons into near-earth orbits.

All commercial launches involving Rokots are carried out by Evrorokot, a joint venture in which the Khrunichev Center holds a 49 per cent stake, and the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company holds 51 per cent.

UNI XC RJ PM1655

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