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Russia Launches Dual-Purpose Telecom Satellite

MOSCOW — Russia's Space Forces launched on Wednesday a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a dual-purpose Meridian-series telecoms satellite on board, spokesman Col. Alexey Zolotukhin said.

The Soyuz blasted off from the Plesetsk space center in northern Russia at 3:42 p.m. Moscow time (11:42 GMT).

The satellite was put into a designated orbit at around 06.00 p.m Moscow time (15:00 GMT). Russian operators "have established a reliable communications and data link with the spacecraft," the spokesman said.

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