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Proton returns to flight with military satellite launch
Posted: Wed, Sep 21, 2011, 1:52 PM ET (1752 GMT)
Proton-M launch of Express-AM4 (Roscosmos) A Proton rocket successfully launched a Russian military satellite on Wednesday, a little over a month after the launch Proton launch failed. The Proton-M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:47 pm EDT Tuesday (2247 GMT Thursday, 4:47 am local time Wednesday) and released a military satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit about nine hours later. The satellite, designated Kosmos 2473, is believed to be a next-generation military communications satellite known as Garpun. The launch is the first for the Proton since August 18, when an upper stage failure stranded the Express-AM4 satellite in a useless transfer orbit.
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