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MOSCOW, September 28. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian relay satellite Luch, launched by the Proton-M carrier rocket from Baikonur space launch facility early on Sunday, has separated from the Briz-M rocket booster and reached the calculated orbit, the press service of the Russian Space Agency (Roskosmos) reported on Sunday.
“The space apparatus has separated in scheduled time,” the press service said.
It was this years’ fifth launch with use of the Proton carrier and the first launch after the accident with the carrier. On May, Proton-M with the Express-AM4R communication satellite took off from Baikonur, and later on burned down in the dense layers of the atmosphere.
The Luch spacecraft is another satellite of the Luch Multifunctional Relay System which is being developed under the 2006-2015 Russian federal space programme. The Luch relay system is intended to provide the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS); low-orbiting space devices; boosters and upper stages with communication with ground-based facilities.
The Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) can communicate directly with the mission control centres in Russia and in the U.S. for 2.5 hours a day. For communication outside the time limit, Russia buys services of the U.S. Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.
The previous Luch spacecraft - Luch-5B - was successfully put in orbit on April 28 this year.