12:24 GMT +3 hours27 November 2014
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Russia Launches Two Satellites From Baikonur

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A Russian Proton-M launch vehicle carrying Yamal-300K telecoms satellite and Luch 5B relay satellite lifted off early on Saturday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.

MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M launch vehicle carrying Yamal-300K telecoms satellite and Luch 5B relay satellite lifted off early on Saturday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.

“The launch was carried out successfully at a scheduled time,” Roscosmos spokesman said.

“The separation of the Yamal satellite from the Briz-M booster is expected at 10.19 a.m. Moscow time [06:19 GMT] followed by the separation of the Luch satellite at 10.33 a.m. Moscow time [06.33 GMT],”

Both satellites have been built by Russia’s Reshetnev space company.

The Yamal-300K will expand the cluster of Yamal class telecoms satellites operated by Gazprom Space Systems (GSS), a telecommunications arm of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.

The satellite is fitted with a combined payload including eight active 72 MHz transponders in C-band and eighteen active 72 MHz transponders in Ku-band.

Yamal-300K service zone covers 95% of the Russian territory.

The dual-purpose geostationary Luch 5B satellite has been primarily designed to relay live telemetry and other data from low-orbiting space vehicles as they fly beyond the communication range of ground control stations.

It is also capable of tracking low-flying space objects along their trajectories thanks to its two high-precision antennas operating in Ku-band and S-band.