First Soyuz-2.1v launch from Plesetsk Cosmodrome set for early 2013

The Russian Aerospace Defense Forces are prepared to launch a new Soyuz-2.1v light-weight launch vehicle from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome, the forces' recently appointed Commander Maj. Gen. Alexander Golovko told journalists on Thursday.

"We are expecting this rocket from the industry. We plan to conduct the first launch at the beginning of 2013," Golovko said at a ceremony, during which he was presented with the flag of the Aerospace Defense Forces commander.

Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Oleg Ostapenko, who also attended the ceremony, said that "a great deal has been done" since the forces were established.

The appointment of the new commander "will give fresh positive impetus to the forces' development," Ostapenko said.

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