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Russia to carry out five launches of Dnepr carrier rockets in 2016-2017

March 13, 2015, 15:29 UTC+3
A Dnepr carrier rocket with South Korea’s KompSat-3A satellite will blast off from the Yasny launch site in the Orenburg region in the south Urals on March 26
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© ITAR-TASS/Sergei Kazak

MOSCOW, March 13. /TASS/. Russia to carry out five launches of Dnepr carrier rockets in 2016-2017, the international space company Cosmotras reported on Friday.

A Dnepr carrier rocket with South Korea’s KompSat-3A satellite will blast off from the Yasny launch site in the Orenburg region in the south Urals on March 26.

"The launch of an RS-20 rocket with the Kompsat-3A space vehicle from the Yasny launch site has been scheduled for 3:08:46 local time on March 26, 2015," the company said in a statement.

The launch date was reported by the South Korean media on Wednesday.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) announced on February 2 that the launches of Dnepr Russian-Ukrainian conversion-based carrier rockets had been suspended as part of the Cosmotras international program.

Cosmotras Head Alexander Serkin earlier said the company would honor all of its obligations for the launches of Dnepr carrier rockets with foreign-owned spacecraft under the contracts that had been signed. Later, Roscosmos spokesman Igor Burenkov confirmed this information.

Serkin said two more Dnepr launches were planned in 2015 in addition to the March launch of the South Korean satellite.

The previous launch of a Dnepr rocket took place in November 2014.

A carrier rocket launched under the Dnepr program in June last year put a record 34 satellites into orbit for customers from 17 countries.

Dnepr is a three-stage liquid propellant rocket. Its first and second stages are standard stages of the inter-continental ballistic rocket RS-20 (SS-18 Satan). The Cosmotras company is responsible for converting the RS-20B rockets originally developed in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine, into the Dnepr space rocket.

It is launched either from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan or from the Yasny space facility in the Orenburg region in the south Urals.

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