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Proton launches SES-6
Posted: Tue, Jun 4, 2013, 7:21 AM ET (1121 GMT)
Proton M launch of SES-6 (ILS) A Proton rocket launched a European communications satellite on Monday, using a longer but more efficient trajectory to place the satellite into orbit. The Proton-M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:18 am EDT (0918 GMT, 3:18 pm local time) Monday, releasing the SES-6 satellite into orbit 15 and a half hours later. Unlike the usual launch of geosynchronous satellites on Protons, which takes a little over nine hours to place the satellite into a standard transfer orbit, the Proton's Briz-M upper stage placed STS-6 into a super-synchronous transfer orbit, with an apogee of 65,000 kilometers. Satellites placed in such orbits can move to their final GEO orbits using less propellant. The 6,100-kilogram SES-6, built by Astrium for SES, will operate at 40.5 degrees west longitude in GEO, providing Ku- and C-band communications services to customers on both sides of the Atlantic, with a Brazilian direct-to-home TV company serving as the satellite's anchor customer.
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