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Russia launches military satellite

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MOSCOW (AFP): Russia has successfully launched a military satellite, following a recent string of failures for the country's space programme.

The military satellite sent into space from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia at 1524 GMT on Friday (June 05) was put into orbit as planned, state news agency TASS reported, quoting a defence ministry spokesman.

Russia's space sector has seen a series of misfires lately including the Progress spacecraft, which failed shortly after launch on April 28 and fell back to Earth.

In May, a Proton rocket did not manage to put into orbit a Mexican communications satellite.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has made revitalising the space sector a priority, a project that may include transforming the country's space agency into a public company.

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