A Zenit rocket fired away from a Kazakh launch pad Friday with a Russian weather satellite, and the launch marked what could be the Ukrainian-made booster’s final flight.
One more Zenit rocket is built for launch of a Russian astronomical telescope in 2017, but Russian authorities are considering switching the payload to a Proton launcher. Russia’s Tass news agency also reported last month the Zenit rocket has exceeded its warranty, but that has not been confirmed.
Friday’s launch carried the Elektro-L 2 weather satellite, a geostationary observatory designed to track storms over Russian territory and neighboring countries.
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