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Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Russian Spy Satellite Breaks Down


Moscow, Russia: A Russian spy satellite launched this week has failed to open one of its two solar panels and cannot fulfill its mission, the Kommersant daily online news service reported Monday, quoting an unnamed Russian defense official.

The Kosmos-2421, a Russian navy satellite for intelligence-gathering and identifying targets, was launched Sunday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Kommersant confirmed.

The news service, citing a naval command official, reported the satellite could not generate enough power and therefore could not deploy its equipment.

Meanwhile, an official from Russia's space forces, a defense ministry unit, told AFP that the Kosmos satellite "was successfully put in orbit and has passed under the navy's command."

Russian navy and space agency officials contacted by AFP declined to comment.

The satellite was designed 15 years ago but could only be launched this year, Kommersant reported.

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