Proton-M with Arabsat-5 telecoms satellite blasts off from Baikonur
Russia's Proton-M launch vehicle powered by the Breeze-M upper stage blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakstan on Friday to orbit the Arabsat-5 telecommunications satellite, RIA Novosti reported.
"The launch went off in normal mode, as scheduled," a spokesman for the Federal Space Agency said.
The satellite is scheduled to separate approximately 9 hours and 13 minutes after liftoff.
The launch was carried out under a contract between the International Launch Services (ILS) and ARABSAT satellite operator. ILS, owned by the Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia and U.S. firm Space Transport Inc., provides spacecraft launch services for Proton-M heavy carrier rockets.
This was the sixth Proton launch and fourth ILS Proton Launch this year.
This was also the 357th Proton launch in its history, the 60th Proton launch since ILS began commercial launches in 1006. It also was the 3rd Arabsat Launch with ILS, and the 12th Eurostar Satellite Launched on ILS Proton.
The Arabsat-5 (commercial name BADR-5) will be co-located with BADR-4 and BADR-6 Direct-To-Home satellites, launched in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
It is the Eurostar E3000 platform satellite, weighting 5,420 kg (11,949 lbs), is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders and 4 Ka-band transponders, with an anticipated life span of 15 years. The satellite was built by France's Thales Alenia Space on behalf of EADS Astrium of Paris, France.