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Russian military allowed to launch Russia-Ukraine Dnepr rocket with South Korean satellite

February 10, 2015, 21:12 UTC+3 MOSCOW

South Korean communications satellite Kompsat-3A is to be launched in March

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Dnepr carrier rocket

Dnepr carrier rocket

© Sergey Kazak/ITAR-TASS

MOSCOW, February 10. /TASS/. The Russian government has allowed the Defense Ministry to use, on a contractual basis, military-oriented space systems, as well as involve the military to ensure the launch of a South Korean communications satellite, Kompsat-3A, with the help of a Dnepr RS-20B carrier rocket, according to a resolution posted on the official website of legal information.

Earlier, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said the launches of Dnepr rockets - converted intercontinental ballistic missiles (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan) - as part of the international space program Kosmotras between Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have been suspended.

But International Space Company (ISC) Kosmotras CEO Alexander Serkin told TASS the company will fulfill all its commitments on launches of Dnepr carrier rockets with foreign spacecraft under earlier signed contracts. In his words, Kompsat-3A is to be launched in March. Another two Dnepr launches are scheduled for 2015.

"Our international partners have nothing to worry about, we will fulfill all commitments wer undertook," he stressed then.

Roscosmos spokesman Igor Burenkov confirmed that all earlier reached agreements on the launch of Dnepr carrier rockets will be fulfilled.

The previous Dnepr launch occurred in November 2014.

Dnepr is a three-stage liquid-fueled rocket, whose first and second stages are regular stages of the RS-20 ballistic missile. RS-20B rockets developed in Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine, are modernized by Kosmotras, and launches are made from the Baikonur space center Russia leases from Kazakhstan, as well as from the Orenburg Region in Russia’s Volga Federal District.

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