Russia launches four-satellite package

July 28, 2012 at 10:56 AM
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MOSCOW, July 28 (UPI) -- Russia said it launched a classified military satellite and three civilian satellites into orbit Saturday.

The satellites were all aboard a single Rokot launch vehicle that blasted off Saturday from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia and all settled into their assigned orbits without incident.

The payloads included a MiR scientific microsatellite, two communications spacecraft and a military Cosmos satellite, the Russian Space Forces announced.

The RIA Novosti news agency said the Cosmos will be added to a network of about 70 military reconnaissance satellites monitoring the goings on in the world.

Saturday's launch was the 16th deployment of the lightweight Rokot vehicle, which is a converted RS-18 nuclear missile, since 2000. Rokot launches were suspended for 18 months after a military communications satellite failed to make its correct orbit after a launch in early 2011, RIA Novosti said.

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