Soyuz rocket launches telecom satellite from French Guiana

A Soyuz rocket blasted off from French Guiana on Thursday carrying four telecommunications and internet satellites, according to France's National Centre for Space Studies.

The Russian-made launcher took off at 1703 GMT carrying the "innovative" O3b satellites, which are set to provide internet connectivity equivalent to "high-speed fibre" and have an expected service life of 10 years, the organisation said in a statement.

Last October a Soyuz rocket carrying a Russian and US astronaut failed just minutes after blast-off, forcing the pair to make an .

A successful manned flight was launched in December, taking Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, Anne McClain of NASA and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency off for a six-and-a-half month mission on the International Space Station.

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© 2019 AFP

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