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CAPTION ONLY: RUSSIA LAUNCHES PRIVATE ROCKET

SHARE CAPTION ONLY: RUSSIA LAUNCHES PRIVATE ROCKET

Russia' first privately funded rocket blasts off Monday in an effort to promote friendship and attract business. The three-stage Soyuz rocket, launched from the once-secret Plesetsk space center, carries a payload of religious icons, peace messages, a stuffed toy dog and ads for Russian goods. The items will be retrieved and displayed in Seattle after the rocket splashes down off the West Coast following five days in orbit.