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Six decades after Sputnik, a refined version of the rocket that put the first artificial satellite in orbit remains the mainstay of Russia's space program – a stunning tribute to the country's technological prowess, but also a sign that it has failed to build upon its achievements.The Soyuz booster, currently the only vehicle that launches crews to the International Space Station, is a modification of the R-7 rocket that put Sputnik in orbit on Oct. 4, 1957 .Last year, Russia for the first time fell behind both the U.S. and China in the number of launches.While the Soyuz is now the only vehicle for ferrying crews to the ISS following the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet, Russia stands to lose the monopoly soon as the SpaceX's Dragon v2 and Boeing's Starliner crew capsules are set to fly test missions next year.Russia also has struggled for years to build its own scientific module for the International Space Station.
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