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Russia resumes launch of Proton-M carrier rocket

(Xinhua)

10:54, September 22, 2011

MOSCOW, Sept. 21 (Xinhua) -- A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a military spacecraft blasted off early Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the first launch since a series setbacks of Russian rocket launch in August.

Colonel Alexei Zolotukhin, spokesman of the Russian Space Forces, told reporters that the successful launch took place at 02:47 Moscow time (2247 GMT Tuesday) as scheduled.

"The spacecraft is scheduled to separate from the Briz-M booster at 11:48 Moscow time (0748 GMT)," Zolotukhin said.

The military spacecraft delivered by the Proton-M belongs to the Russian Defense Ministry.

Local reports said the Wednesday launch was originally planned for Aug. 31, but was postponed due to an investigation into a failed launch of a Proton-M rocket carrying an Express-AM4 satellite on Aug. 18.

After the failure, Russia decided to suspend launches of rocket Proton-M pending the outcome of a probe into the accident.

On Aug. 24, a Progress M-12M cargo ship also failed to reach the orbit due to a rocket malfunction. Russia delayed the launch of next manned spaceship to the International Space Station (ISS).

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