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Russian space agency suspends Dnepr carrier rocket project

The prospects of the Cosmotras international program will be determined later

MOSCOW, February 2./TASS/. The launches of Russian-Ukrainian conversion-based Dnepr carrier rockers within the Cosmotras international program have been suspended, Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said on Monday.

"Now the project for the launch of Dnepr carrier rockets has been suspended. The prospects of this program will be determined later," Roscosmos said.

Сosmotras declined to comment on the statement.

Previous reports said two launches of Dnepr carrier rockets were planned for 2015. 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.