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Proton launches communications satellite
Posted: Thu, Feb 3, 2005, 8:50 AM ET (1350 GMT)
Proton launch (file photo) A Proton M rocket successfully launched a commercial communications satellite early Thursday. The Proton M lifted off from Baikonur at 9:27 pm EST Wednesday (0227 GMT, 7:27 am local time Thursday). Its payload, the AMC-12 communications satellite, separated from the Proton's Briz M upper stage about nine and half hours after liftoff. AMC-12 is the first Alcatel Spacebus 4000-series satellite to be launched. The spacecraft, weighing nearly 5,000 kg, carries 72 C-band transponders. SES Americom plans to use the satellite, called Worldsat-2 for a time last year, to provide communications services for North and South America as well as Europe and Africa from its position in GEO at 37.5 degrees west. The launch is the first Proton launch of 2005 as well as the first commercial launch of the year.
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