Russian rocket blasts off with US satellites

June 19th, 2008 - 6:25 pm ICT by IANS  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, June 19 (RIA Novosti) Russia has successfully launched a Cosmos 3M rocket with six US satellites onboard from a space centre in southern Russia, a spokesman for the Russian Strategic Missile Forces said Thursday. Col. Alexander Vovk said the rocket with Orbcomm satellites blasted off at 10.36 a.m. (0636 GMT) from Kapustin Yar, in the Astrakhan region.

Orbcomm is the world’s first commercial global wireless data and messaging system.

The system uses low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites to provide cost-effective tracking, monitoring and messaging capabilities across the globe.

Orbcomm currently operates 29 satellites in six orbital planes that provide worldwide coverage.

These satellites are relatively small in size, weighing less than 100 pounds and measuring only 42 inches in diameter and six inches in height.

The Cosmos 3M is a liquid-fuelled two-stage rocket, first launched in 1967, with over 410 successful launches to date. The booster has been designed to lift a payload of up to 1,500 kg into low, medium, and high orbits.
RIA Novosti

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