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    CONTRACT INKED FOR COMMERCIAL LAUNCH OF RUSSIAN PROTON WITH FRENCH COMMUNICATION SATELLITE WORLDSAT 3

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    MOSCOW, March 4, 2004. (RIA Novosti) -- A new contract for commercial launch of a Russian carrier rocket Proton with the French communication satellite WORLDSAT 3 has been signed by the Russian-American company ILS, Alexander Bobrenev, official spokesman for the Khrunichev Spate Space Centre, said on Thursday.

    The WORLDSAT 3 is going to be put into orbit from the Baikonur launching site in late 2005 within the framework of the agreement with the French Alcatel-Space Company.

    The launch will be made in the interest of the largest satellite communication operator SES Americom Inc., part of the SES Global holding. The SES Americom satellite group covers territories in South and North Americas, Europe, Asia, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

    The WORLDSAT 3 craft was developed by Alcatel Space on the basis of the Spacebus 4000 platform on order from WORLDSAT, SES Americom Inc.'s subsidiary.

    The WORLDSAT 3 is the fourth Alcatel Space satellite to be orbited by a Russian Proton. In 2003 a Proton carrier rocket injected into orbit the AMC-9 satellite for SES Americom, Alexander Bobrenev said.

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