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Russian Proton Rocket Launches Carrying Two Telecoms Sats

RIA Novosti

17:01 16/03/2014

MOSCOW, March 16 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M rocket took off early Sunday morning from Kazakhstan's Baikonur space center carrying two Russian telecommunications satellites, the Russian space agency said.

The rocket's payload, the Express-AT1 and Express-AT2 satellites, were successfully inserted into a geosynchronous transfer orbit nine hours after the launch by the Proton's upper stage, the Briz-M.

The two satellites will gradually move into geostationary orbits using onboard engines, where they will broadcast radio and TV signals across Russia, Kazakhstan and parts of Europe.

The satellites, manufactured by Russia's Reshetnev company in cooperation with France's Thales Alenia Space, each weigh over 1,400 kilograms (3,000 pounds) and have a planned lifespan of 15 years, according to Reshetnev.

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