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Russian rocket to loft European satellite
A Russian rocket with a European weather satellite is on its launch pad at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan and being readied for launch, officials said.
The rocket is a Soyuz-2.1a, a three-stage rocket for lifting payloads into low Earth orbit, RIA Novosti reported.
“The rocket with Fregat booster and MetOp-B satellite has been set on the launch pad 31,” Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said on its website.
MetOp-B is the second in a series of three European polar orbiting weather satellites, designed to provide measurements for weather forecasting and climate monitoring.
Its predecessor, MetOp-A, was launched in October 2006, with the last in the series, MetOp-C, set for launch in 2017.
The 9,000-pound MetOp-B is intended to remain in orbit for 5 years as part of a system providing weather and climate data covering the whole planet, the European Space Agency said.
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