Russia puts European satellite into orbit

20:49, December 27, 2010      

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Russia has successfully put a European KA-SAT telecommunication satellite to its designated orbit Monday, said the state Khrunichev Space Research Center.

A Proton-M carrier rocket with the satellite atop blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0:51 a.m. Moscow time (2151 GMT Sunday).

The KA-SAT satellite stationed at nine degrees east longitude on the geostationary orbit at around 10:03 a.m. Moscow time (0703 GMT).

The satellite, created by the company EADS Astrium, was the first of its kind in Europe that could transfer up to 70 gigabytes of data per second.

It will be used for direct Internet access by customers in Europe and the Mediterranean areas.

The launch of the six-ton KA-SAT is the 12th for Proton-M carrier rocket this year and the 363rd in its history. It is also the first launch of Proton-M after it veered off course and sunk in the Pacific Ocean on Dec. 5, losing three Glonass-M satellites, a spokesman for federal space agency Roscosmos said.

The KA-SAT launch, initially slated for Dec. 20, was postponed for another week pending the investigation into the failed launch of three Glonass satellites.

This was also the last space launch conducted by Russia in 2010.

Source: Xinhua
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