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Russia Launches Telecoms Satellite into Orbit

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Russia has launched its Express AM8 communications satellite, which lifted off on Monday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on a Proton M space rocket.

The satellite is designed to provide television and radio broadcasting, data transmission, multimedia services, presidential and governmental communications, telephony, mobile communication in the territories of Western and Central Russia, Europe, Africa, the Middle East, as well as South and North America.

The Proton-M is the largest carrier rocket in Russia's fleet of space launch vehicles. The rocket has lifted dozens of Russian-made and foreign satellites since it was first launched in 2001.

Express-AM8 has an operational life-time of 15 years. The satellite's weight is 2,100 kilograms, with a payload of 661 kilograms.

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Tags: satellite  Russia