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The Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (AFP) July 26, 2006 -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka is expected today in Kazakhstan to attend the launching of his country's first-ever satellite.


The Russian-built Belka satellite will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 1:43 a.m. on July 27.


It will be carried by a Russian rocket, along with one Russian and one Italian satellite.


The Belka, which costs $9 million, is designed to collect cartographic, geodesic, and meteorological data.


During his visit to Kazakhstan, Lukashenka will hold talks with the top management of the Russian Space Agency.


(Belta, Kazakhstan Today, Interfax-Kazakhstan)

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