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Russia Grounds Launches Of Rokot Carrier Rocket

by Staff Writers
Moscow (XNA) Feb 28, 2011
Russian Space Forces have grounded launches of Rokot light-class carrier rocket after its failed launch with military satellite Geo-IK-2, local reports said on Monday.

The launches have to be halted until the completion of a investigation on Rokot's failure on Feb. 1, in which the rocket's Briz-KM upper stage failed to place the satellite in a designed orbit.

The next launch of Rokot was scheduled at the end of March, but investigative commission said it would not complete its work by the deadline.

"Rokot's launches have been suspended to fulfill recommended measures to ensure the necessary level of quality and reliability...the Rokot will be evaluated by the state-owned enterprise TsNIImash and four institutes of the Defense Ministry," local reports quoted a source from the forces as saying.

The three-stage Rockot is a rocket developed on a basis of the pensioned-off two-stage intercontinental strategic ballistic missile RS-18 (or SS-19 by NATO classification). It is capable to deliver up to two tons of load to a low orbit.

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