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Main » 2012 » December » 14
North Korea entered an elite club of Space Nations.
On December 12, 2012 at 00:49 UTC North Korea launched the "Unha-3” three-stage rocket-carrier from Sohae Satellite Launching Station (also known as Tongch'ang-dong Space Launch Center and Pongdong-ri) in Cholsan County, North Pyongan Province, North Korea.
The rocket orbited the "Kwangmyongsong-3” satellite.
North Korea joined a small group of countries with the ability to build and launch their own satellites into orbit.
The former Soviet Union launched the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik-1, in October 1957. The United States followed with the successful launch of Explorer 1 in January 1958.
France, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, India and Israel later flew their own space launchers.
Iran joined the space launch club in 2009 and was the newest member before North Korea's historic launch.
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US launched a military mini-shuttle.
On December 11, 2012 at 18:03 UTC the "Atlas 5” rocket-carrier was launched from Complex 41 of Cape Canaveral launch site of US Air Force. The launch was performed by United Launch Alliance supported by the 45th Space Wing of US Air Force.
The rocket orbited the X-37B space plane (miniature military space shuttle).
United Launch Alliance and US Air Force declared the launch as a success, beginning the third mission for the X-37B program and the second for this particular spaceplane that had flown a 224-day voyage from April through December 2010.
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Russia failed to insert a satellite into desired orbit.

On December 8, 2012 at 13:13 UTC the Russian "Proton-M” rocket-carrier with the "Briz-M” booster was launched from Baykonur Cosmodrome to orbit the "Yamal-402” telecommunications satellite for Gazprom Space Systems (GSS), a telecommunications arm of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.
The Yamal-402 satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders providing for the coverage zone over the most part of the territory of Russia, CIS, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
The satellite failed to reach the desired orbit as it separated from the upper stage four minutes prior to the calculated time.
The spacecraft’s manufacturer is working on a plan to use the satellite’s own engines and fuel reserves to adjust its orbit.

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