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Russia launches, then loses, satellite

  |   Feb. 1, 2011 at 7:07 PM
MOSCOW, Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Russian space forces officials say they've lost contact with a military satellite just hours after it was launched and are trying to find it.

Space forces spokesman Lt. Col. Alexei Zolotukhin said the Geo-IK-2 satellite didn't establish contact with ground control center at the expected time, Xinhua reported Tuesday.

"We are taking all measures to track the parameters of the satellite's orbit and trying to establish contact with it," Zolotukhin told Russian news agency Interfax.

A space industry source reportedly told Interfax the satellite "should enter Russia's visual monitoring zone, but it is actually out of the monitoring systems."

"Preliminary reports indicate that the Geo-IK-2 military satellite was placed in an unplanned orbit," the source told Interfax. "Apparently the Briz-KM upper stage failed to place the satellite in the designed orbit at the altitude of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles)," the source said.

"It is most likely to be declared lost."

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