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Proton launches KA-SAT
Posted: Mon, Dec 27, 2010, 11:38 AM ET (1638 GMT)
Proton launch of KA-SAT (ILS) A Proton rocket successfully launched a European communications satellite Monday, three weeks after the previous Proton launch failed. The Proton M lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:51 pm EST Sunday (2151 GMT Sunday, 3:51 am local time Monday); its Breeze M upper stage released the KA-SAT satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit a little over nine hours later. The satellite, a Eurostar E3000 model built by EADS Astrium, weighed 6,150 kilograms at launch. It carries a Ka-band payload that will be used by satellite operator Eutelsat to provide high-speed Internet access across Europe and the Mediterranean Basin. The launch came just over three weeks after another Proton failed to place three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit. That problem was traced to the upper stage, a different model than the Breeze M, clearing the way for this launch.
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