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MOSCOW, October 20 (Itar-Tass) —— A Proton-M carrier rocket with the American satellite ViaSat-1 aboard blasted off from Baokonur on Wednesday, October 19.
“The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Briz-M booster was launched at 22:48 Moscow time,” the press service of the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
The satellite is scheduled to be put in geostationary orbit on October 20 in 9 hours 12 minutes after launch.
“The launch of the ViaSat-1 satellite is the sixth Proton launch in 2011 and the 369th in its history,” the Khrunichev Centre said.
ViaSat-1 is the most powerful satellite in the world, built for the American telecom company ViaSat. It will meet the growing demand for broadband access to the Internet in North America and Hawaii for the next decade. It is designed to operate for 15 years.
The satellite was launched in the interests of a number of leading companies in the market of broadband communication, including Loral, Telesat and Eutelsat. The contract for the use of the Proton-M carrier rocket was signed by International Launch Services Inc. (ILS), in which controlling interest belongs to Khrunichev that designs and makes the carrier rocket and the booster.
ILS is based in Reston, Virginia, and promotes Khrunichev’s Proton carrier rocket and Briz-M booster on the international market. The joint venture was set up in 1995 by Lockheed Martin, Khrunichev and Energia. In 2006, Lockheed Martin withdrew from the partnership and sold its majority share to one of the German entrepreneurs. In May 2008, Khrunichev bought that share. ILS has made 67 Proton launches since 1996.