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Russia’s carrier rocket launches US satellite

An American communications satellite has been launched into orbit by a Russian carrier rocket, the Proton-M. The rocket blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early on Friday.

The three-tonne satellite is designed to remain in orbit for sixteen years.

The Proton carrier is Russia's premier heavy-lift launcher, with over 350 launches since its maiden flight in 1965.