Russia launches rocket with French telecom satellite

Moscow, May 15 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A Proton-M rocket carrying a French telecommunications satellite has blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, said a spokesman for Russian space agency Roscosmos.

Tuesday’s launch was the 386th of a Proton rocket and the third Proton launch this year.

The launch took place at 20.02 Moscow time (4.02 p.m. GMT), the Roscosmos spokesman said.

Separation of the French W3D satellite from the Russian rocket was scheduled for 5.15 a.m. (1.15 a.m. GMT) Wednesday, he added.

The W3D satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space for Paris-based Eutelsat on the Spacebus 4000 C3 platform.

The 5,400 kg satellite has a service life of 15 years.

It will provide extensive Ku-band coverage across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for video links and data networks as well as Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception and Internet services.

–IANS/RIA Novosti


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