11:25 GMT +3 hours21 November 2014
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Troubled Russian Satellite Reaches Designated Orbit

Science
(updated 18:28 28.10.2014)
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A wayward Russian satellite reached its designated geostationary orbit on Saturday after its engine was switched on for the fourth time, the Gazprom Space Systems (GSS) company said.

MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) - A wayward Russian satellite reached its designated geostationary orbit on Saturday after its engine was switched on for the fourth time, the Gazprom Space Systems (GSS) company said.

“The fourth and final orbit adjustment ended in success. The Yamal-402 communications satellite was taken to its geostationary orbit at the altitude of 36,000 km,” a GSS spokesman said.

The maneuver was the latest in the four-step recovery plan developed by aerospace company Thales Alenia Space to get the satellite into its target orbit after it suffered a premature separation from the upper stage of a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket after launch last Saturday.

The Yamal-402 satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space for GSS, the telecommunications arm of Russian energy giant Gazprom, to provide communication links over most of Russia, the CIS, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The satellite, equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders, was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on December 8 but separated from its upper stage four minutes early due to an apparent glitch in the Briz-M booster. The failure was not the first for Briz, which has a less than perfect reliability record.