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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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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.