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The first launch of the Soyuz 2-1A may be postponed again due to bad weather
The first launch of the Soyuz 2-1A, Russia's new generation carrier rocket, may be postponed again due to bad weather, a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency said Thursday. The launch of the Soyuz-2-1A with the European weather satellite MetOp has been delayed several times since its original July 17 launch date, mainly for technical reasons. "The state commission at the Baikonur space center decided to launch the rocket today, as there are no technical reasons against it," Igor Panarin said. "Only a strong wind at an altitude of 11 kilometers can prevent it. The launch is scheduled for 20:28 Moscow time [18:28 GMT]." Bad weather at that altitude was the reason for the launch postponement Wednesday. The four-ton MetOp is to be put into orbit for weather forecasting and climate monitoring. Three MetOp satellites will be launched in all, at a cost of 2.5 billion euros ($3.1 billion).
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