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Russia to launch seven space vehicles in two months

Russia plans to launch seven space vehicles by March, the federal space agency Roscosmos said Monday.

"Preparations for the 2014 program have started today," Roscosmos said on its official website.

The fueling of a Briz-M booster and a Progress M-22M cargo ship has started at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, said the space agency.

In February, a Soyuz-U rocket carrier mounted with the Progress, as well as a Proton-M rocket carrier with Turkish communications satellite TurkSat-4A and another Proton-M with two Russian Express satellites, will be launched from Baikonur.

In March, a Soyuz-FG rocket will put on orbit a Soyuz TMA-12M manned spaceship.

On unspecified dates within the two months, Russia also prepares to launch two space rockets, Soyuz-2.16 and Rokot, from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in the northwestern region of Arkhangelsk and another Soyuz-ST-A rocket from the Kuru space center in French Guiana, South America. All of the rockets will be mounted with commercial payloads.

In 2013, Russia has conducted 32 space launches from Baikonur, Plesetsk and the Yasny-Dombarovsky launch site in the southeastern Orenburg region, with 31 of them successful.

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