Russia puts European satellite Ka-Sat in orbit

December 27, 2010
An image released by Eutelsat shows a computer-generated image of the European satellite Ka-Sat of Eutelsat Communications that has been successfully lofted into orbit by a Proton rocket late on December 26.

Russia on Monday put into orbit the European Ka-Sat satellite launched overnight by a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, space officials said.

"The satellite was successfully put into orbit at 10:03 Moscow time (0703 GMT)," the Khrunichev space centre said Monday in a statement.

This was Proton's first successful launch after a on December 5 of three Russian navigation satellites, Glonass, to reach . They fell into the Pacific some 1,500 kilometres (937 miles) from Hawaii.

After the incident, has temporarily suspended Proton launches. Some experts have said programming errors caused failures.

Ka-Sat will ensure access to broadband Internet for poorly served terrestrial networks in Europe and Mediterranean basin. The satellite was constructed by EADS Astrium for Eutelsat, Europe's leading satellite operator.

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