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Archive for Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Satellite launches, planet probes planned

August 30, 2006

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Russia plans to orbit at least 30 telecom satellites and launch probes to Mars and Venus under the federal space program for 2006-2015, a Russian Space Agency official said Tuesday.

Vitaly Davydov, deputy head of the agency, said that a Mars probe would deliver soil samples from the planet, in addition to remotely sensing its surface. Another probe will study the surface and the atmosphere of the second solar planet, Venus.

The federal space program plans to launch about 30 fixed communication and broadcasting satellites, and more than 10 satellites for mobile service, he said.

Davydov also said Russia would create two meteorological systems based on of the Electro and Meteor geostationary satellites, which would become part of a satellite network operated by the World Meteorological Organization.

"We are also planning to conduct a series of experiments with microgravity," Davydov said, adding that new unmanned spacecraft would be developed for this purpose.

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