A Molniya-M medium-size rocket inserted a Molniya-class military communications satellite into a preset orbit at 12.56 a.m. Moscow time today. This was disclosed to RIA NOVOSTI at the press center of Russia's Space Force.
The rocket and the satellite blasted off from the Plesetsk space center (northern Russia) at 12.01 a.m. June 20, press-center people added.
The four-stage liquid-propellant Molniya-M launch vehicle, which has a lift-off mass of more than 315 tons, measures 43.4 meters in length. This launcher was developed by the Samara-based central specialized design bureau and adopted in 1975. (Samara is a city in Russia's Volga region -- Ed.) Each Molniya rocket can place two-ton payloads into elliptical orbits, the press center's officials said in conclusion.