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Russian rocket launches U.S. satellites

MOSCOW, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A Russian Soyuz rocket has successfully launched six satellites for U.S. client Globalstar, Russia's Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

The Soyuz 2.1a with Fregat booster blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan Wednesday with the Globalstar-2 satellites aboard, RIA Novosti reported.

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The launch had been scheduled for Dec. 5 but was postponed at the request of Globalstar.

The launch was a success just days after another Soyuz 2.1 rocket failed to place a Meridian satellite into orbit after launch from the Plesetsk space center, causing it to crash near the Siberian city of Tobolsk just minutes after liftoff.

Six previous Globalstar satellites were successfully launched on July 13, 2011.

Globalstar is a low-Earth orbit satellite telecommunications system founded by U.S.-based Loral Corp. and Qualcomm Inc., providing voice and data services to North America and more than 120 countries worldwide.

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