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Russia launches military satellite from Baikonur


MOSCOW, February 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has successfully launched a Proton-K heavy carrier rocket with a military satellite from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a Space Forces spokesman said Saturday.

"The launch of the carrier rocket was conducted in a normal mode," Lt.-Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said.

The Proton-K carrier rocket was developed on the basis of the UR-500 intercontinental ballistic missile by the Salyut design bureau making part of Russia's Khrunichev State Research and Production Center. The rocket was first launched in 1968.

There have been several thousand launches of the rocket since it was adopted. There are plans to use the rocket to deliver International Space Station modules to the near-earth orbit.

Russia currently uses two launch sites for space carrier rockets and ballistic missiles tests: the Baikonur space center in the Central Asian Republic of Kazakhstan, which it has leased since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the Plesetsk space center in northwest Russia.

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