15:17 GMT +324 October 2016
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    MOSCOW, January 11 (RIA Novosti corr. Alexander Kovalyov) -The Zenit-3SL booster with the Brazilian communications satellite Estrela do Sul was launched from a floating platform in the Pacific ocean at 7.13 Moscow time. It became the first space launch in the new year. At 8.18 Moscow time the booster successfully put the satellite into the calculated orbit. Thus, the first space launch of 2004 may be considered successful, said Russia's Mission Control.

    Estrela is designed to render telecomm services to Brazil residents as well as to ensure Internet access to passengers of airliners during flights over the Atlantic. The spacecraft was built by American corporation Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) and is designed for 15 years of operation.

    The launch was made in the framework of joint program Sea Launch. Among Sea Launch joint enterprise founders are Russian space and rocket corporation Energia, Ukraine's aerospace enterprises - Yuzhmashzavod production association and Yuzhnoye design bureau, American concern Boeing, as well as Norwegian shipbuilding company Kvarner.

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