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Russia launches US telecom satellite

The Proton-M rocket takes off from Baikonur cosmodrome with US satellite DirecTV-12 on board.

BAIKONUR (BNS): A Proton-M rocket, carrying US telecommunications satellite DirecTV-12, blasted off from the Baikonur space centre early on Tuesday, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

The rocket was launched at 0322 hours Moscow time and is scheduled to be orbited after 9 hours and 10 minutes at 1232 Moscow time, the space agency said.

This was the last launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome for 2009, it said.

The DirecTV-12 satellite, made by US firm Boeing, will join the direct TV satellite grouping to provide high-definition television, Internet and communications services to subscribers in America.

For Russian-built Proton-M carrier rocket, Tuesday’s launch was the tenth launch for this year.

Roscosmos targets 8 Proton launched in 2010 the first of which is slated to take flight on January 12.

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