The 1,350-kg TanDEM-X satellite, with a life span of five years will survey Earth's land surface several times during its mission© RIA Novosti. Oleg Urusov
A converted Russian intercontinental ballistic missile took Germany's TanDEM-X satellite into orbit on Monday, a military spokesman said.
The RS-20B carrier rocket lifted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 6:14 Moscow time [2:14 GMT].
This is the 16th launch of an international satellite under the Dnepr program involving Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, which converts RS-20 ICBMs (classified by NATO as the SS-18 Satan) into carrier rockets to put satellites into low Earth orbit. Around 50 satellites have been put into orbit so far.
"The RS-20B rocket took the TanDEM-X satellite into orbit," Col. Vadim Koval said.
The 1,350-kg TanDEM-X satellite, with a life span of five years, will survey the land surface of the Earth several times during its mission. The primary objective of the mission is to generate a consistent, highly-accurate global digital elevation model.
Russian-Ukrainian joint venture Kosmotras uses launch pads at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan and Russia's Strategic Missile Forces facilities equipped for RS-20 launches.
The RS-20 is the most powerful ICBM in the world. It was first launched in 1973 and is still in service with Russia's Strategic Missile Forces.
MOSCOW, June 21 (RIA Novosti)
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We have witnessed the total defeat of western Ukraine, Western nationalists and the West in general, which made the unfortunate decision to support the anti-government activity. They failed to realize that the collapse of Yanukovych means the collapse of Ukrainian unity. They set fire to their own home and planted a time bomb under Ukraine’s territorial integrity.