Russia loses contact with new military satellite

/ Source: The Associated Press

Russia said it lost contact Tuesday with a newly launched military satellite, apparently the latest in a string of satellite failures.

The military failed to establish radio communications with the satellite launched on board a Rokot booster rocket earlier Tuesday from the northern Plesetsk launchpad, a Defense Ministry spokesman said, citing space forces commander Lt. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko.

The military is working to determine the satellite's orbit and establish contact, he said.

The state-controlled Khrunichev rocket maker said on its website the GEO-IK-2 Reshetnev satellite was intended for geodetic studies, which involve measuring or determining the shape of the Earth, or exactly locating points on its surface.

The apparent mishap follows a failed launch of three GLONASS-M satellites in December, which cost two space officials their jobs.