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Russian rocket launches US telecom satellite


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MOSCOW (BNS): A Russian Proton-M rocket has successfully launched an American telecommunications satellite EchoStar-15.

The satellite was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 22.40 Moscow time on Saturday. It was successfully placed in orbit after getting separated from the carrier rocket at 07.53 on Sunday, Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

The EchoStar-15 will replace the EchoStar 3 satellite launched in 1997. It will provide television services across the US by joining the DISH network. The new satellite is equipped with 32 transponders and has a lifespan of 15 years.

As for Russia's Proton carrier, the latest launch was its seventh launch in 2010 and 358th since its first flight. The three-stage rocket can carry a payload of 700 tons, Itar-Tass said.

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