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MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. European telecommunications satellite Astra-2G which was launched by a rocket carrier Proton-M from Baikonur space centre on Sunday separated from upper stage rocket Briz-M and was put on a pre-calculated orbit, the press service of Federal Space Agency Roscosmos told TASS on Sunday.
“The satellite separated at the pre-calculated time,” Roscosmos said.
Proton-M was launched at 00.37am Moscow time (9.37pm GMT on Saturday), ten minutes after the lift-off the cone made of upper stage rocket Briz-M and satellite Astra-2G separated from the rocket carrier.
This was the final launch this year.
At first the launch was planned to make on November 28, but it was delayed indefinitely over a malfunction in upper stage Briz-M.
The contract operating rocket carrier Proton-M for the launch of satellite Astra-2G was concluded by the Russian-American joint venture International Launch Services (ILS). The Khrunichev space research-and-production centre, which developed and produced launch vehicle Proton and upper stage rocket Briz-M, has a controlling stake in ILS.
The satellite is produced by the Airbus Defense and Space Company on the order from the Luxembourg-based satellite communications operator SES. The satellite should have a coverage range from European countries, West Africa to the Near and Middle East. In particular, the orbiter will provide for direct TV broadcasting in Britain and Ireland.
Meanwhile, Luxembourg plans to reserve an orbital position for a future spacecraft of the system GovSat with the aid of Astra-2G, an article published on the specialised website SpaceNews.com said earlier. This space system is planned to provide communications for NATO military forces.
According to the International Telecommunication Union, Astra-2G is to stay at an orbital position planned for GovSat system spacecraft for no less than three months. This is enough for Luxembourg to keep “reserved place”.
After that Astra-2G will be relocated to its permanent orbital position of 28 degrees of east longitude, one of key points of SES company to provide for TV broadcasting, the edition said.