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MOSCOW, December 9. /TASS/. The launch of a Proton-M space rocket carrying a military satellite from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan, originally scheduled for December 10, has been postponed till December 13 for extra checks of the system that separates the satellite from the delivery vehicle, a source in the space rocket industry told TASS.
"The decision in favour of a postponement was made in Moscow. There were no technical problems. The rocket had been brought to the launch pad already. The delay was ordered for more checks of the separation system following an incident with another military satellite," the source said.
A Soyuz-2.1V rocket carrying two military satellites blasted off from the Plesetsk space site, in northern Russia on Saturday, December 5. At first, the Defense Ministry said both satellites reached the designated orbits. The next day, however, some mass media said the launch ended unsuccessfully. One of the satellites had failed to separate from the booster block Volga. A source in the Air and Space Defense Staff confirmed to TASS that the satellite had been lost. The satellite burned down in the atmosphere on Tuesday.
According to a source in the space rocket industry one of the four locks that kept the satellite attached to the booster block failed to work properly.