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Russia launches Cosmos-series military satellite

MOSCOW (BNS): Russia on Friday launched a Soyuz-U carrier rocket with a Cosmos-series military satellite from the Plesetsk space center in north Russia.

Russian Space Forces spokesman said the rocket successfully orbited a satellite that was assigned the serial number Cosmos 2455.

The Cosmos series with 2411 and upwards could be part of Russia's Oko (Eye) orbital missile early warning network. The Cosmos 2441 (launched on July 26, 2008) is believed to be the first in a new series of spy satellites (Persona), featuring updated imaging technology and an extended lifetime of up to seven years, a report by Ria Novosti said.

The Soyuz-U rocket is designed to orbit Soyuz and Progress manned and cargo spacecraft, as well as special-purpose satellites such as Cosmos, Resurs-F, Foton and Bion. The rocket has payload of up to 6,950 kilograms.

Russia reportedly operates a network of 60-70 reconnaissance satellites and has carried out 16 space launches since the beginning of 2009, the report added.

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