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Proton returns to flight with government satellite launch
Posted: Sun, Sep 28, 2014, 9:43 AM ET (1343 GMT)
Proton launch of Luch satellite, Sept 2014 (Roscosmos) A Russian Proton rocket launched Sunday for the first time since a May failure, placing a government communications satellite into orbit. The Proton-M lifted off at 4:23 pm EDT Saturday (2023 GMT Saturday, 2:23 am local time Sunday) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It deployed the Luch satellite into orbit nine hours later. The satellite is described by Russian media as a geostationary orbit communications relay satellite from the same series that support Russian operations on the International Space Station, although outside observers believe the satellite will serve military communications applications. The launch was the first for the Proton since the failed May 16 launch of a Russian communications satellite.
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