01:20 GMT +318 February 2019
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    Russia set to launch communications satellite after delay

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    MOSCOW, December 28 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will launch January 28 a Proton M carrier rocket to orbit a communication satellite after a four-month delay, the Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said Friday.

    The launch of an Express AM-33 communications satellite had originally been scheduled for September 2007, but was delayed after Thales Alenia Space, a French firm, failed to supply the manufacturer, the Applied Mechanics research-and-production association based in the Moscow Region, with a payload module for the spacecraft.

    Roscosmos said the satellite had passed all performance tests and would be transported to the launch site at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on January 3 for launch preparations.

    The new satellite is equipped with Ku-, C- and L-band transponders and has a service life of 12 years.

    Its main purpose is to provide mobile communication services, TV and radio broadcasts, multimedia and data transmission on the territory of the Russian Federation.

    Anatoly Perminov, the head of Roscosmos, said on Thursday that Russia's satellite group in orbit had increased to 101 spacecraft this year.