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24 July 2011

Russian satellite will honor Gagarin

Image: This NASA image taken on July 12, 2011 by Astronaut Ron Garan shows the International Space Station with Space Shuttle Atlantis docked on the right and a Russian Soyuz on the far left. In the foreground is the Alpha Magneti Spectrometer (AMS) experiment installed during the STS-134 mission. UPI/NASA 

MOSCOW, July 22 (UPI) -- Russians on the International Space Station will launch a mini-satellite to honor this year's 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight, mission control said.

The mini-satellite Kedr, named after Gagarin's call sign, will transmit greeting messages in 15 languages and relay images of Earth and telemetry data to amateur radio operators as it orbits, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

The satellite, to be launched Aug. 3, is part of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station project.

Kedr will by launched by Cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov during a scheduled 6-hour spacewalk.

Gagarin was the first human to journey into space