September 2, 2008

Russian Rocket Sends Five German Satellites into Orbit

Russian rocket sends five German satellites into orbit

MOSCOW, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Russia on Friday launched a Dnepr rocket to put five German satellites into orbit, news agencies reported.

The carrier was launched at 11:15 Moscow time (0715 GMT) from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, said Alexander Vovk, head of the press service of the Russian Strategic Missile Troops.

The launch vehicle Dnepr, based on the world's most powerful intercontinental ballistic rocket RS-20, is designed to put a load of up to 3.7 tons to orbit at an altitude of 300-900 km.

The five RapidEye satellites were developed by the British company Surrey Satellite Technology for the German Space Agency.

Each satellite weighs 150 kg and is expected to work for seven years. The main function of the satellites is monitoring of agriculture crops and mapping.

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