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Russia launches communications satellite from floating pad

(Xinhua) Updated: 2012-12-04 09:43

MOSCOW - Russia has launched a French communications satellite from a seaborne launch platform, the federal space agency Roscosmos said Tuesday.

Live webcast showed the Zenit-3SL carrier rocket, with a W-5A telesat on board, blasted off from the equator-deployed Sea Launch Odyssey floating platform in Pacific Ocean at 00:44 Moscow time (2044 GMT Tuesday).

Built by the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS), the over 5,000-kg satellite, also known as Eutelsat 70B, will be placed on a geosynchronous orbit.

With a designed life span of 15 years, the satellite will provide customers with data and broadband access, GSM backhauling and professional video exchanges, according to the EADS.

Founded in 1995, the Sea Launch consortium was made up by four companies from Norway, Russia, Ukraine and the United States, with the Russian company holding 95 percent of the shares.

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