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Russia’s Soyuz rocket blasts off in French Guiana, puts Spanish satellite in space

January 28, 4:40 updated at: January 28, 6:01 UTC+3

The Russian rocket put in space the Hispasat 36W-1 satellite of the Spanish satellite communication operator Hispasat

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© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky

PARIS, January 28. /TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz-ST-B rocket has put in space Spain’s telecommunication satellite Hispasat 36W-1. The launch from French Guiana was carried out at 04:03 Moscow time on Saturday (22:03 on Friday local time), said Stephane Israel, the head of the Arianespace company, which services launches from French Guiana.

"We are pleased to announce that the satellite’s separation took place on time," Israel said at the Guiana space center’s mission control in a live telecast.

The Russian rocket put in space the Hispasat 36W-1 satellite of the Spanish satellite communication operator Hispasat. The Fregat-MT booster block provided by the Lavochkin research and industrial association is responsible for putting the satellite into the designated orbit. The satellite has a mass of 3.2 tonnes - a record payload to have been launched with a Soyuz rocket from the Guiana space center. The satellite will be transmitting signals to Hispasat subscribers in Spain, Portugal, the Canaries and South America.

The Hispasat 36W-1 constitutes the first mission of the SmallGEO platform, developed by OHB System AG (Germany) with the European Space Agency and HISPASAT. It includes the innovative RedSAT regenerative payload, which allows HISPASAT to use the satellites power in a more agile and efficient manner, substantially increasing its transmission capacity with the subsequent reduction in the cost of communications.

This is the first launch from the Guiana space center in 2017. In all, Arianespace plans to make twelve launches (including the latest) from French Guiana this year, for which it will use both European and Russian rockets - Ariane-5, Vega and Soyuz-ST.

As he addressed his colleagues in Arianespace, the ESA and Hispasat with words of gratitude, Israel noted in particular the Russian specialists’ contribution to the latest launch.

"This is our first launch this year and also the first launch with a Soyuz rocket to a geo-transitional orbit from here. This shows once again the flexibility of Arianespace’s line of delivery vehicles our clients enjoy. I would like to thank once again our partners at Roscosmos, space rocket corporation Progress and the Lavochkin research and industrial association for excellent cooperation and to congratulate them upon today’s success," Israel said.

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