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Proton-M carrier rocket with Spanish satellite launched from Baikonur Space Center

A Proton-M heavy-lift carrier rocket with a Spanish Amazonas-5 satellite has been launched from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Space Center, a TASS correspondent reported from the space pad on Monday.

"The Proton-M space rocket with a Briz-M upper stage was launched at 22:23 Moscow time from Baikonur's launching pad 29 of platform 200," a spokesman for Russia's state space corporation Roscosmos said.

The Spanish satellite will separate from the Briz-M upper stage in nine hours and 12 minutes after the launch to reach the designated orbit at 07:35 Moscow time on September 12.

This was Proton-M's thirds launch since the beginning of the year and the second commercial launch. The first launch in 2017 took place on June 8 when it carried a US communications satellite EchoStar 21. The satellite was to be put into orbit back in 2016 but the launch was delayed several times to be ultimately cancelled due to a defect in Proton's second and upper stage engines. On August 17, a heavy-lift rocket of this type put into orbit a military satellite.

The next commercial Proton launch is scheduled for September 28, when it is to put into orbit a Chinese AsiaSat 9 satellite.

The Amazonas-5 telecommunications satellite was manufactured by the United States' Space Systems Loral at the order of Spain's Hispasat. The satellite will be used to provide services of television broadcasting, corporate networks and telephony in South and Central America.

The contract for the launch of the Spanish satellite was signed by International Launch Services, a US subsidiary of Khrunichev Center and the holder of exclusive rights on Proton marketing.

[Source: Itar Tass, Baikonur, 12Sep17]

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