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Russian rocket puts into orbit French satellite

RIA Novosti

05/08/2006 11:08 MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian carrier rocker has successfully put into orbit a French satellite that was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Russian space agency said Saturday.

The Proton-M rocket took into space the Hot Bird 8, a French telecommunications satellite, at 1.48 a.m. Moscow time [9.48 p.m. GMT, Friday] under the terms of a commercial program run by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, the manufacturer of the rocket and the Briz-M booster.

The satellite was put into orbit at 10.59 a.m. Moscow time [6.59 a.m. GMT].

"The satellite is designed to provide Internet and digital telecommunications services for Europe and North Africa," an agency spokesman said.

The spacecraft weighing 4.8 metric tons was produced by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company, the world's second largest aerospace company, for Eutelsat, Europe's leading satellite operator.

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