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MOSCOW, May 14 (RIA Novosti) - A Proton-M rocket carrying a European telecommunications satellite blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, a spokesman for Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.
Tuesday’s launch was the 386th of a Proton rocket and the third Proton launch this year.
“The launch took place as scheduled, at 20:02 Moscow time [4:02 p.m. GMT],” the Roscosmos spokesman said.
Separation of the French W3D satellite from the Russian rocket is scheduled for 5:15 a.m. (1:15 a.m. GMT) on Wednesday, he added.
The W3D satellite was built by Thales Alenia Space for Paris-based Eutelsat on the Spacebus 4000 C3 platform . The 5,400 kg (11,900 lbs) satellite has a service life of 15 years.
It will provide extensive Ku-band coverage across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia for video links and data networks as well as Direct-to-Home (DTH) reception and Internet services.
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If attempts to drag Russia into a direct military conflict in Ukraine are successful, it would be a catastrophe for Russia comparable to the 1979-1989 Afghan war. There is no direct evidence that the US is trying to bring about a second Afghan war, but indirect evidence abounds.