Russia launches U.S. satellite

14:22, March 21, 2010      

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Russia launched a U.S. telecommunications satellite from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Saturday night, the Russian Federal Space Agency said.

The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Echostar-14 satellite atop lifted off at around 09:27 p.m. Moscow time (1827 GMT).

The 6.3-ton spacecraft is expected to separate from the Briz-M booster and take the position at 119 degrees West in the geostationary orbit about nine hours after the launch.

The Russian-U.S. joint venture International Launch Services concluded a launch contract of the satellite with the U.S. telecommunications company Echostar.

Manufactured by the U.S. Loral Space Systems Inc., the satellite owned by U.S. satellite TV company DISH Network is scheduled to provide HD TV signal service for North America customers for about 15 years.

This is the second commercial rocket launch in Russia in 2010.

The Baikonur Cosmodrome is one of the world's largest space launch facilities, where Sputnik 1, Earth's first satellite, was launched.

Source: Xinhua
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