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STS-124: In review

The STS-124 crew narrates highlights from its mission that delivered Japan's Kibo lab module to the station.

 Full presentation
 Mission film

Jason 2 launch

A ULA Delta 2 rocket launched the Jason 2 oceanography satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base on June 20.

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Jason 2 preview

The joint American and European satellite project called Jason 2 will monitor global seal levels.

 Mission | Science

STS-124 space shuttle mission coverage

Extensive video collection covering shuttle Discovery's mission to deliver the Japanese Kibo science lab to the station is available in the archives.

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Soyuz 2-1b rocket launches classified military payload

Posted: July 26, 2008

Russia launched a military reconnaissance satellite Saturday using a modernized version of the Soyuz rocket, according to news reports.

The Soyuz 2-1b rocket lifted off at 1831 GMT (2:31 p.m. EDT) from Complex 43 at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

The rocket's payload, believed to be the first in a new series of spy satellites, reached orbit about nine minutes later, according to the Interfax news agency.

The new satellite series, called Persona, features updated imaging technology and an extended lifetime of up to seven years.

The first Persona spacecraft was renamed Kosmos 2441 in the Russian military's nomenclature for satellites.

Saturday's launch was the first flight of the Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Plesetsk. The updated version of the venerable launcher was first flown from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome in 2006.

The Soyuz 2-1b booster includes an advanced digital control system and a more powerful third stage engine to increase performance.

The mission marked the 37th space launch to reach orbit so far this year. It was also the fourth space launch of the year from Plesetsk.