Russia successfully launched its first cargo rocket of 2009, placing into orbit a Corona research satellite, according to a mission control spokesman.
The launching of the Cyclone-3 rocket from the space center of Plesetsk in the northwest of Russia had been programmed for Thursday, but it was delayed by one day for technical reasons.
The Corona satellite, projected to study solar processes, is third
of three to study the Sun in orbit near earth under the Russian program Coronas. Corona I and Corona F had been launched in 1994 and 2001, respectively.
It will investigate the processes of accumulation of free energy in the atmosphere of the sun, the phenomena of acccelerated particles and the solar flares, and the correlation between the solar activity and magnetic storms on Earth.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea