Russia abandons military satellite sent to incorrect orbit

21:29, February 24, 2011      

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The Defense Ministry on Thursday announced it has abandoned a military satellite that was sent into an incorrect orbit earlier this month.

First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said a Geo-IK-2 military satellite, which was expected to help draw a three-dimensional map of the Earth, "is lost for the defense ministry."

"It will not be used for military purposes but could still be used for checking control systems," Popovkin said.

He said an investigations of the satellite's failed launch has not been yet completed, but preliminary information indicated the control system caused the error.

A Rokot light-class carrier rocket carrying with the Geo-IK-2 satellite blasted off Feb. 1 from Russia's Plesetsk launching site, but the rocket placed the satellite in an incorrect orbit.

The Russian Space Forces on Monday grounded launches of all Rokot light-class carrier rocket until the completion of the investigations.

The setback followed another failed launch two months ago of a rocket with three Glonass communications satellites, dealing a major blow to Russia's ambitious space program.

Source: Xinhua
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