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Russian Foton-M satellite to remain on orbit for 2 months

August 01, 2014, 16:59 UTC+3 MOSCOW
A number of experiments were scheduled onboard the satellite, therefore 22 sets of research equipment was mounted on Foton-M
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© EPA/NASA/ Johnson Space Center HANDOUT

MOSCOW, August 01. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Federal Space Agency decided to leave its scientific satellite Foton-M on the orbit for two month as planned and not to remove it ahead of time, despite the mess that the satellite caused after getting lost in space.

“The satellite is operating normally now, so it will remain on the orbit for two-month period as initially planned”, head of space agency Oleg Ostapenko told ITAR-TASS on Friday.

The fourth scientific satellite Foton-M with lizards, fruit flies, plant seeds and microorganisms aboard was launched on July 19, 2014 and lost connection with the Earth a few hours after the launch, so Russian space experts could not control it and it took seven days to regain connection.

A number of experiments were scheduled onboard the satellite, therefore 22 sets of research equipment was mounted on Foton-M. The experiments should reveal how to sustain human life in a long space trip.

“Without such experiments we are unaware of how to provide oxygen and food for such a long space trip”, head of Russia’s Federal Medical Biological Agency, Vladimir Uyba, said, stressing that in the future cosmonauts will be sent to Mars and even further into space.

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