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    Proton-M to orbit U.S. EchoStar 15 telecoms satellite

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    Russia's Proton-M carrier rocket with a U.S. EchoStar 15 telecommunications satellite will be launched on Saturday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

    Russia's Proton-M carrier rocket with a U.S. EchoStar 15 telecommunications satellite will be launched on Saturday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

    The launch is scheduled for 22.40 Moscow time [18:40 GMT]. The satellite is scheduled to separate approximately 9 hours, 13 minutes after the liftoff.

    "The launch of the EchoStar 15 spacecraft should become the seventh launch of the Proton rocket in 2010 and 358th overall," a spokesman for Russia's Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center said.

    Once in orbit, the EchoStar XV satellite will join DISH Network's satellites grouping that provides TV services to over 14 million of U.S. customers.

    EchoStar 15 will replace the EchoStar 3 satellite, launched in October 1997. It will provide Ku-band services over the eastern continental United States from its orbital position of 61.5 degrees West.

    The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral on the basis of its LS-1300 platform, will pack 32 Ku-band transponders and has an anticipated life span of 15 years.

     

    MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti)

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