MOSCOW, December 26. /ITAR-TASS/. The carrier rocket Proton-M with an Express-AM5 spacecraft is to be launched on Thursday, an official in the press service of Roscosmos (Federal Space Agency) told Itar-Tass.
"The launch of the Express-AM5 spacecraft from the Baikonur spaceport is scheduled for 14:49 Moscow time (10:49 GMT)," the press service official said, specifying that the rocket will lift off at the cosmodrome's Launch Pad 81. The satellite is to be deployed into the final orbit by the acceleration unit Briz-M.
The Express-AM5 satellite is designed to beam digital television and radio broadcasts onto the territory of Russia, to accomplish mobile presidential and government communication tasks, and provide a package of multiple-system services, as well as establish communications networks based on VSAT technology.
The carrier rocket Proton-M is an upgrade version of the Proton-K rocket. It is notable for improved mass-energy, operating and environmental characteristics. The first launch of a Proton-M with Briz-M acceleration unit was effected on April 7, 2001.