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Proton-M with Arabsat-5 telecoms satellite blasts off


Proton-M ready to blast off with Arabsat-5 telecoms satellite. Photo Yuzhny Space Center PAO

MOSCOW (BNS): Proton-M launch vehicle Friday blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakstan to put in orbit the Arabsat-5 telecommunications satellite.

RIA Novosti quoting a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency said that the launch went off in normal mode, as scheduled. The satellite is scheduled to separate approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.

The Arabsat-5 (commercial name BADR-5) will be co-located with BADR-4 and BADR-6 Direct-To-Home satellites, launched in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

The launch was carried out under a contract between the International Launch Services (ILS) and ARABSAT satellite operator. ILS, owned by the Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia and U.S. firm Space Transport Inc., provides spacecraft launch services for Proton-M heavy carrier rockets.

The satellite was built by France's Thales Alenia Space on behalf of EADS Astrium of Paris, the report said.

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