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Satellite Launched From New Russian Spaceport Fails

A Russian Soyuz 2.1A rocket carrying Lomonosov, Aist-2D and SamSat-218 satellites lifts off from the launch pad at the new Vostochny Cosmodrome late last month.

A satellite sent into orbit during the maiden launch at Russia's new spaceport in the Far East is not functioning.

The Director General of the Progress Rocket and Space Center, Aleksandr Kirillin, said on May 13 that the SamSat-218 satellite is receiving commands but is not functioning.

The SamSat-218, along with two other satellites, was sent into orbit on April 28 by a rocket launched for the first time from the Vostochny Cosmodrome spaceport in the far eastern Amur region.

The launch came a day after a technical glitch thwarted an earlier takeoff.

A flustered President Vladimir Putin was present for the first launch and remained to witness the second attempt.

The new spaceport is intended to reduce Russia's reliance on the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Based on reporting by TASS and Ekho Moskvy