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Russia Loses Advanced Military Satellite After Launch

Russian officials say they have lost contact with a newly developed military satellite that failed to separate from its booster rocket after being launched.

Russian media quote officials from Russia's Air Force as saying on December 7 that "the considered lost."

A Soyuz-2.1B rocket carrying the satellite blasted off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome on December 5.

The lost satellite, called Kanopus-ST, was meant to be used for both civilian and military purposes.

The satellite, which took a decade to develop, had been designed to scan the Earth's oceans and weather systems from space.

One of its military purposes was to spot and track submarines.

The U.S. Space Surveillance Network -- a Pentagon program which detects, tracks, and catalogs artificial objects orbiting Earth -- says the satellite is expected to disintegrate on December 8 when the booster rocket is due to reenter the Earth's atmosphere over Siberia.

Based on reporting by AFP, Interfax, and TASS

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