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    NEW GENERATION RUSSIAN SATELLITE LAUNCHED

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    MOSCOW, October 30 (RIA Novosti) - A Proton-K rocket replete with a DM strap-on booster lifted off from the Baikonur space center in the early hours of October 30, subsequently orbiting the new-generation Express-AM-1 satellite at 8.45 a.m. Moscow time. This was disclosed here today by a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency.

    The Express-AM-1 is designed to relay digital TV-and-radio broadcasts, also handling phone calls and data flows. Moreover, it will provide wide-band Internet access, helping expand VSAT networks and set up departmental and corporate networks all the same. Moreover, it will be rendering multimedia services.

    This launch is yet another step in implementing the Russian space program, a spokesman for the Space Communications company noted.

    In his words, the Express-AM-1 is the third out of five new generation Express-AM spacecraft, due to be produced and orbited until 2005. The first spacecraft in this series, namely the Express-AM-22, was launched successfully in December 2003.

    This spacecraft was developed and assembled by Russian enterprises on a par with Japan's NEC NTS Space company, Sodern of France, as well as Germany's Astrium company. The Express-AM-1 will have a 12-year service life.

    A mission control center, which was commissioned in December 2003, keeps an eye on all of the new satellite's systems. This mission control center watches all new spacecraft launches, as well as every geostationary satellite.

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