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Russia puts U.S. telecoms satellite into orbit

RIA Novosti

08:57 15/10/2010

MOSCOW, October 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Proton-M heavy carrier rocket put a U.S. Sirius XM-5 satellite into orbit on Friday, a spokesman for Russia's space agency, Roskosmos, said.

"The Russian part of the program is complete: the [U.S.] spacecraft separated from the Briz-M upper stage rocket 9 hours and 12 minutes after the blastoff," the spokesman said.

The Proton-M blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan at 22:53 Moscow time [18:53 GMT] on Thursday.

A contract to launch the Sirius XM-5 was concluded between the Russian-U.S. joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) and the Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

Sirius XM-5, a powerful geostationary satellite built by Space Systems/Loral, will function as an in-orbit backup for the Sirius XM satellite radio network. All four previous Sirius satellites were launched on Proton rockets.

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