Russia: Space Program Suspended


October 13, 2005: Yesterday, up to a hundred terrorists attacked government buildings (including three police stations) in southern Russia. The fighting is taking place in Nalchik, in Kabardino-Balkaria, a Moslem province in the northern Caucasus. There have been several dozen casualties so far, including many of the attackers. Police quickly reinforced the forces in Nalchik, and the terrorists do not appear to have taken a lot of hostages. The area was near, but not adjacent to, Chechnya.

October 9, 2005: Space launch officials suspended use of the Rokot launcher after it failed to put a European Space Agency satellite into orbit. The Rokot is the main launcher for Russian satellite operations. Also, in the last week, another satellite (also for the European Space Agency) launch failed, using a converted ballistic missile launched from a submarine. The Russian satellite launcher program is a major industry, because Russia's launches are cheaper, and usually reliable.


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