by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Dec 17, 2015
Launches of Russian-Ukrainian carrier rockets have been suspended in accordance with President Vladimir Putin's decree, Russia's Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) Commander Col. Gen. Sergei Karakaev said Wednesday.
"An April 15 decision by the President of the Russian Federation suspended the 'Dnepr' conversion program," Karakaev said.
Dnepr is a three-stage space delivery vehicle based on the family of R-36M intercontinental ballistic missiles (NATO reporting name SS-18 Satan, designated RS-20 by the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty START).
It is launched from two Russian bases: Baikonur in Kazakhstan and Yasny in southern Russia, part of the SMF's 12 missile formations.
The Russia-based international space company Kosmotras is tasked with upgrading the RS-20B missile developed in Ukraine.
Unconfirmed reports emerged in April that R-36M intercontinental ballistic missiles would no longer be launched under the Dnepr program in 2015.
Russia-Ukraine Carrier Rocket With Weather Satellite Launched From Baikonur
"The Zenit carrier rocket was launched at an estimated time - 16:45 Moscow time [13:45 GMT]. The order on the Elektro-L2 separation from an upper-stage rocket is expected to be given at 01.43 a.m. [10:43 GMT] Moscow time December 12," the spokesperson told RIA Novosti.
The Elektro-L2 space laboratory provides meteorological services for a regional and global weather forecast, as well as a climate change monitoring.
Source: Sputnik News
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