02:59 GMT13 June 2021
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    The Russian Federal Space Agency said that Russia's Proton-M space rocket carrying the Express-AM8 communications satellite lifted off on Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia's Proton-M space rocket carrying the Express-AM8 communications satellite lifted off on Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

    "The Proton launch was carried out as planned [at 10:00 p.m. Moscow time (19:00 GMT)," the official said.

    "The separation of the Express-AM8 from the [DM-03] booster is expected on September 15 at 04.37 a.m. Moscow time," he added.

    It is the second successful launch of a Proton rocket since May accident, which resulted in a loss of a Mexican satellite.

    The first successful launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket, transporting the British telecommunications satellite Inmarsat-5F3, took place on August 28.

    The Proton-M is the largest carrier rocket in Russia's fleet of space launch vehicles. The rocket has lifted dozens of Russian-made and foreign satellites since it was first launched in 2001.

    Express-AM8 has an operational life-time of 15 years. The satellite's weight is 2,100 kilograms (4,629 pounds), with a payload of 661 kilograms (1,457 pounds).

    The satellite is designed to provide television and radio broadcasting, data transmission, multimedia services, presidential and governmental communications, telephony, mobile communication in the territories of Western and Central Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, as well as South and North America.


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    Proton-M, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Russia
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