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Russian Soyuz rocket orbits Europe’s SES-15 commsat

May 18, 22:43 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The launcher and its payload blasted off from the Kourou space center in French Guiana at 14:56 Moscow time

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© EPA/ESA/STEPHANE CORVAJA/HO

MOSCOW, May 18. /TASS/. A Russian-made Soyuz ST-A medium-class carrier rocket has put into orbit Europe’s SES-15 geostationary telecoms satellite on Thursday, Arianespace SAS CEO Stephane Israel said on his Twitter page.

"SES-15 has separated from its Soyuz launcher," he wrote.

The launcher and its payload blasted off from the Kourou space center in French Guiana at 14:56 Moscow time. The launch was expected to take place earlier this year, but was rescheduled several times amid protests that gripped France’s overseas department on South America’s north Atlantic coast.

With a combination of wide beams and HTS (High Throughput Satellite) multi-spot beams, SES-15 will provide telecommunications services to customers in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, including serving traffic-intensive data applications such as from government and aerospace customers, VSAT networks and maritime traffic. The satellite’s life span is estimated at 15 years.

The satellite is built on the basis of the all-electric Boeing 702SP satellite bus equipped with the Xenon Electrostatic Ion Thruster System (XIPS), which is 10 times more efficient than conventional liquid fuel systems. The system conducts station-keeping, orbit-raising and other orbital maneuvers without the use of conventional liquid rocket fuel.

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