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German military satellite launched by Russia: report

Russian rocket Tsiklon-2 with a new military satellite on board blasts off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, early 25 June 2006. A Tsyklon-2 launch vehicle has put a Russian Defense Ministry satellite of the Kosmos series into the target orbit, Russian Space Troops spokesman Alexei Kuznetsov told Interfax-AVN. Photo courtesy of AFP.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) March 27, 2008
A German reconnaissance satellite successfully took off from the Plesetsk base in northern Russia Thursday on board a Kosmos rocket, a Russian space official told Interfax news agency.

"The launch from the Plesetsk cosmodrome went according to plan," said Alexei Zolotukhin, a spokesman for Russian troops charged with defending and managing space installations, Interfax reported.

The SAR-Lupe satellite was designed by German contractor OHB-System for the German defence ministry and is intended for "European-wide strategic reconnaissance operations," the company said in a statement earlier.

Thursday's launch is the fourth of five planned hi-tech satellite launches under an agreement between Russia's state arms monopoly Rosoboronexport and OHB-System signed in 2003.

The launch was delayed twice due to weather conditions, the agency added.

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Russian Rockot Launch Vehicle To Orbit European GOCE Satellite
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Mar 26, 2008
A Russian Rockot launch vehicle is due this year to deliver into orbit Europe's first GOCE satellite which will measure the Earth's gravitational field, the Khrunichev space center said Friday. "The European Space Agency [ESA] will present Europe's first GOCE [Gravity field and steady state Ocean Circulation Explorer mission] satellite at the ESTEC [European Space Research and Technology Center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands] in early April," the Russian center said.

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