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Proton launches Astra 1M
Posted: Thu, Nov 6, 2008, 6:29 AM ET (1129 GMT)
Proton launch of Astra 1M (ILS) A Proton rocket placed a European communications satellite into orbit early Thursday. The Proton M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:44 pm EST Wednesday (2044 GMT Wednesday, 2:44 am Thursday local time), and its Breeze-M upper stage released the Astra 1M satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit nine hours and 12 minutes later. The satellite, an EADS Astrium Eurostar 3000, weighed 5,320 kilograms at liftoff and carriers 36 Ku-band transponders. The satellite will operate from 19.2 degrees east in GEO, providing direct-to-home TV services to Europe. The launch was the third commercial Proton mission in less than three months since the vehicle returned to commercial service following a March launch failure.
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