Russia launches rocket with five satellites
Moscow: Russia`s Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with five satellites on board Sunday blasted off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
The rocket will deliver the Russian satellites Canopus-B and MKA-PN1, a Belarusian BKA satellite, the Canadian ADS-1B and German TET-1 into orbit.
The satellites were initially planned to be launched in the first half of 2012, but the mission was postponed several times because Kazakhstan dragged on the decision on Russia`s use of its territory as a drop zone for the first stage of the Soyuz rockets.
Kazakhstan gave permission following a meeting between Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Massimov and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in June.
The Canopus-B satellite, developed by the All-Russia Research Institute of Electromechanics, is designed for remote sensing of the Earth. It weighs about 400 kg and will work on a circular orbit at a height of 510 km.
The MKA-PN1 satellite will collect data to help meteorologists build models of ocean circulation - particularly in Arctic waters along Russian shores - and climate dynamics. The satellite was developed by Russia`s NPO Lavochkin aerospace company.
The German TET-1 satellite will be launched as part of the German Aerospace Center`s On-Orbit Verification Program, aimed at testing new space technologies.
The ADS-1B satellite will form part of a ship-identification satellite system developed by the Ontario-based Com Dev aerospace company.
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