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Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket with communications satellite blasts off from French Guiana

May 18, 16:25 UTC+3 PARIS

The launch was planned several times this year but was delayed due to protests that swept French Guiana

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© REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

PARIS, May 18. /TASS/. A Russian Soyuz carrier rocket with a SES-15 geostationary communications satellite has been successfully launched from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.

The Russian carrier rocket blasted off at 13:56 Paris time. The satellite owned by the company SES is equipped with a fully electric propulsion system.

The launch of the Soyuz carrier rocket from the Kourou spaceport was planned several times this year but was delayed due to protests that swept French Guiana.

The SES-15 satellite is designed to provide telecoms services to residents of North America, and also for VSAT networks, marine and air transport in the Pacific region. It was built on the basis of the newest space platform Boeing 702SP.

Electricity is supplied by two wings of solar panels and accumulator batteries. The platform uses the XIPS fully electrical propulsion unit with xenon as the propellant.

All of the satellite’s orbital maneuvers and position adjustments are made with the help of this propulsion unit, without using chemical rocket propellant. The satellite has a service life of 15 years.

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