Russian military spacecraft launched by Soyuz
BY STEPHEN CLARK
Posted: June 7, 2007
A Russian Soyuz rocket delivered a covert military satellite into orbit Thursday evening, marking the nation's first launch of a defense satellite this year.
The Soyuz launcher lifted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia at 1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT), according to Russian news reports.
A few minutes later, the three-stage rocket released the Kosmos 2427 payload into orbit as planned.
The launch was the first of the year from Plesetsk, and the first since December for the Russian military.
Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov viewed the launch at Plesetsk, according to an Itar-Tass report.
Overall, Thursday's mission was the 22nd space launch this year to successfully reach orbit.