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Second Delay of Russian Satellite Launches from Kazakh Base

MOSCOW, Aug 26, 2000 -- (Agence France Presse) Officials again postponed on Saturday the launch of a Russian rocket carrying five satellites for Italy, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, citing technical problems, ITAR-TASS reported.

A new date for the satellite launch from Baikonur station in Kazakhstan was not given, the agency reported, citing sources at Dnepr, a firm which is participating in the project.

Initially scheduled for Friday, the launch was first delayed for 24 hours until Saturday due to unspecified technical difficulties.

The satellites were to have been launched by Russia's 32-metre (106-foot) Proton Rocket from the Kazakh launch site.

It is the first time Russia has undertaken launches for Malaysia and Saudi Arabia.

The satellites Saudisat-1A and Saudisat-1B and the Italian Unisat are all for scientific research. The Malaysian satellite Twingsat is for mapping the Earth, while a second Italian satellite, Megsat-1, will monitor the environment. ((c) 2000 Agence France Presse)

-- Doris (, August 26, 2000

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