Proton blasts off from Baikonur

Russia’s Proton-M rocket, carrying a Chinese telecommunications satellite, has successfully blasted off from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

AsiaSat satellites are being built by the Hong Kong-based Asia Satellite Telecommunications Corporation. In February it signed a contract with International Launch Services, the Russian-U.S. joint venture, for its AsiaSat 5 satellite to be launched onboard Russia’s Proton-M rocket.

This is the sixth launch of the rocket this year with a Chinese satellite onboard and, overall, the 347th launch of the Proton-M rocket.

Roskosmos, the Federal Space Agency, says the satellite will reach orbit 9 hours and 15 minutes after launch.

The satellite will offer an enhanced footprint that covers more than 53 countries, spanning from Russia to New Zealand and from Japan to the Middle East and parts of Africa.

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