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New Launch Of Dnepr Rocket Postponed For Technical Reasons

File image of a Dnepr rocket being launched.
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Mar 28, 2007
The first launch following last summer's crash of a Dnepr carrier rocket, scheduled for this month, has been postponed due to technical reasons, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency said Tuesday.

A Dnepr rocket carrying a large payload of satellites crashed July 26, 2006 shortly after liftoff from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, which Russia rents from the Central Asian country, due to a first stage engine shutdown.

"There have been some technical claims to the head part of the carrier," Igor Panarin said. "The state commission decided to carry out additional work and to announce a date for the new launch by the evening March 27."

This time the new Dnepr carrier rocket is expected to put into orbit an Egyptian satellite, EgyptSat, six Saudi Arabian satellites - one SaudiSat-3 and five SaudiComSat - as well as P-Pod micro satellites and six university satellites CubeSat.

Last summer the Dnepr's wreckage was discovered 150 kilometers (93 miles) from the space center on a steppe, far removed from any residential buildings. Kazakh officials said there were no casualties or environmental damage.

The carrier rocket, a civilian version of the heavy R-36M2 Voyevoda (SS-18 Satan) inter-continental ballistic missile, was carrying 18 Russian and foreign-made micro-satellites.

Source: RIA Novosti

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Paris, France (SPX) Mar 23, 2007
Jules Verne, the first of five Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV), stands on the brink of flight. Its hardware is 100 percent assembled and ready to fly. The inaugural mission, set for the second half of 2007, will follow an extensive three-year test campaign.

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