MOSCOW, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Russia has most likely lost a newly launched military satellite, Interfax news agency said on Tuesday citing a source in the country’s space rocket industry.
The GEO-IK-2 spacecraft, designed to measure the shape of the earth, was launched earlier on Tuesday from the Plesetsk launchpad in northern Russia.
The loss of three GLONASS navigation satellites that crashed into the sea in December provoked outrage from the Kremlin, which is trying to build Russian technological independence. President Dmitry Medvedev afterwards sacked two top space officials.
“Contact has still not been established with the spacecraft and it will most likely be considered lost,” an unnamed space source told Interfax news agency.
The GLONASS system, seen as a rival to the U.S. global positioning system (GPS), has been personally spearheaded by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. (Reporting by Amie Ferris-Rotman; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)