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14:30 GMT +3 hours18 December 2014
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Russia Fails To Insert Yamal-402 Satellite Into Desired Orbit

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Russia has failed to put the Yamal-402 communications satellite in the desired orbit as it separated from the upper stage four minutes prior to the calculated time, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Sunday.

MOSCOW, December 9 (RIA Novosti) - Russia has failed to put the Yamal-402 communications satellite in the desired orbit as it separated from the upper stage four minutes prior to the calculated time, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Sunday.

A Proton-M launch vehicle with a Breeze-M upper stage, carrying the Yamal-class telecoms satellite for Gazprom Space Systems (GSS), a telecommunications arm of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom, blasted off at 5:13 p.m. Moscow time [13:13 GMT] on Saturday from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.

A space industry expert told RIA Novosti the spacecraft’s manufacturer is working on a plan to use the satellite’s own engines and fuel reserves to adjust its orbit.

“Yamal-402 has been deployed into an orbit close to the calculated one, and unless it was damaged by the early separation, it is likely that the satellite may be used as designated with some restrictions,” the expert said.

The Yamal-402 satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders providing for the coverage zone over the most part of the territory of Russia, the CIS, Europe, Middle East and Africa.

This is the second Yamal-class telecoms satellite launched for the GSS this year. The Yamal-300K telecoms satellite, built by Russia’s Reshetnev space company, was orbited on November 3. Its service zone covers 95 percent of the Russian territory.

The GSS, formerly known as Gazcom, also has Yamal-201 and Yamal-202 telecoms satellites in orbit. The company plans to have the Yamal satellite network in full operation by 2020.