Russia launches military satellite: Ministry

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Moscow, Dec 13: Russia today successfully launched a military satellite from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the defence ministry said in a statement.

The spacecraft was blasted into orbit with a Proton-M rocket "as planned", the statement said. "A telemetric communication line was established with the satellite and all equipment on board is functioning normally," it added.

Russia flag

Russia's space industry has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months. It put the brakes on all space travel for almost three months after the failure of the unmanned Progress freighter in late April.

The doomed ship lost contact with Earth and burned up in the atmosphere, forcing a group of astronauts to spend an extra month on the ISS. In May, another Russian spacecraft, a Proton-M rocket carrying a Mexican satellite, malfunctioned and crashed in Siberia soon after its launch. Earlier this month, Russia lost communication with a newly developed military satellite after it apparently failed to separate from the booster rocket after launch. 

AFP

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