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Russia Launches First Soyuz Rocket Since Space Station Mission Failure

A Russian Soyuz booster rocket has successfully launched a satellite for the first time since a much-publicized failure in April.

The Defense Ministry said the Soyuz 2.1A rocket was launched Friday from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia, placing a Russian military satellite into its designated orbit.

An uncrewed Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket rises from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Friday, sending the Kosmos-2505 military satellite into orbit. Andrey Morgunov / Russian Defense Ministry

The failure of the previous Soyuz launch on April 28 led to the loss of an unmanned Progress cargo ship bound for the International Space Station. A similar type of rocket is used to launch spacecraft carrying crews to the space outpost, so the failure prompted Russia to delay both the scheduled landing of some of the station's crew and their successors' launch.

The three returning crew members are getting ready to leave the station in a Soyuz capsule on June 11. The next Progress launch is scheduled July 3, to be followed by a crew launch on July 24.