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MOSCOW, June 4. /TASS/. Russia’s Aerospace Force has launched a Rokot carrier rocket from the Plesetsk space center (in northern Arkhangelsk region), Russian Defense Ministry’s press service told TASS on Saturday.
"On Saturday, at 17.00 Moscow Standard Time (15.00 GMT), a combat crew of the Russian Aerospace Force’ Space Troops carried out the successful launch of a Rokot small expendable space launch vehicle with a defense satellite atop in the interests of the Russian Defense Ministry," the press service said adding the Force’s Deputy Commander Lt Gen Aleksander Golovko was in charge of the launch.
"The pre-launch preparations and launch of the Rokot carrier rocket were carried out in a routine mode," the spokesperson said. "Ground services of the Aerospace Force’s Space Troops were supervising the launch and flight of the space vehicle."
Rokot is a space launch vehicle capable of delivering light and medium payloads to orbit. It was created on the basis of the RS-18 (SS-19) intercontinental ballistic missile manufactured by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Center. After the end of the Cold War the missiles were re-purposed by the center to serve as space launch vehicles.
Rokot (also spelled as Rockot) consists of a booster unit - that provides the first and second stages - and the Briz-KM (also spelled as Breeze-KM) upper stage containing the propulsion compartment, the hermetically sealed equipment compartment and the inter-stage compartment.
The first Rokot carrier rocket blasted off from the Plesetsk spaceport on May 16, 2000. As many as 26 launches have taken place since, which lifted 65 spacecraft into low earth orbit.