22:56 GMT +317 December 2018
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    Proton-M launch set for December 29

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    MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - After repeatedly being postponed, the launch date for a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket carrying a U.S. AMC-23 satellite (WorldSat-3) has been set for December 29 at 2:28 a.m. GMT, a Russian space agency official said Monday.

    "In accordance with the decision of the state commission on December 26, the Proton-M with the Briz-M booster and the AMC-23 satellite was brought from the testing facility to the launch site to carry out final pre-launch procedures. The rocket was put into vertical position," said Vyacheslav Davidenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency.

    Despite technical faults in the booster that have delayed the launch, client representatives have praised the performance of Russian experts throughout preparations for the launch.

    The AMC-23/WorldSat-3 was manufactured by French company AAS and is owned by the United States' SES AMERICOM, a provider of satellite communications. The satellite has a flight weight of 5.027kg and a service life of 16 years.

    Proton-M carrier rockets and Briz-M boosters are manufactured by the Russian Khrunichev Space Center.

    Launch services are provided under contract with joint venture International Launch Services (ILS), comprising Lockheed Martin and Khrunichev.

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