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MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Express-AM6 communications satellite was launched from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 3:09pm GMT on Tuesday, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) has said.
Shortly after the launch the satellite with the Briz-M booster separated from the rocket reaching an interim orbit. The separation of the satellite from the booster in the designated orbit is scheduled for 4:31am Moscow time on Wednesday (0:31 GMT Wednesday).
This is the sixth Proton launch in 2014 and the second after an accident in May this year. The previous launch took place on September 28 when the Russian satellite Lutch was orbited.
The Express-AM6 is a satellite that provides communications and broadcasting services in Russia. The lifespan of the spacecraft is 15 years.
The director general at Russian Satellite Communications Company, Yury Prokhorov, said earlier the enterprise plans to add nine advanced communications satellites to its orbital grouping by 2020. Thus, the number of satellites will reach 20.
This May Russia’s Proton-M rocket with an Express-AM4R telecommunications satellite went down shortly after blasting off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The rocket burned down in the thick layers of the atmosphere while the satellite after the Briz-M booster failed to separate from the spacecraft.
Russia in recent years experienced a number of unsuccessful space launches. Prior to the May incident another Proton-M went down after the launch in 2013 failing to deliver three Glonass navigation satellites into orbit. Similar accidents happened in December 2010, in August 2011, and in August 2012.