Russia launches military satellite after delay

September 21, 2011
File photo shows a Russian Proton-M rocket blasting off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Russia on Wednesday successfully launched a military satellite after a three-week delay caused by the failure of one its workhorse Proton-M rockets, the Roskosmos space agency said.

Russia on Wednesday successfully put a military satellite into orbit after a three-week delay caused by the failure of one its workhorse Proton-M rockets, the Roskosmos space agency said.

The satellite, which was launched "in the interests of the ministry of defence," separated from its Briz-M upper stage booster without problems at 0748 GMT, the agency said.

Roskosmos was forced to temporarily ground all Proton-M rockets that come equipped with the Briz-M after losing an advanced telecommunications satellite on August 18.

Only six days later, a Progress cargo vessel flying to the International Space Station aboard a Soyuz carrier rocket crashed back to Earth less than six minutes after launch.

Some Soyuz missions have since also been grounded, forcing a delay of the next manned flight to the space station until November 14.

The military satellite was originally scheduled to take off on August 31, the RBC news agency reported.

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