RIA Novosti.December 8,2012
Launch of Proton-M carrier rocket © RIA Novosti. Oleg Urusov
A Proton-M carrier rocket blasted off on Saturday to orbit a Yamal-class telecoms satellite for Gazprom Space Systems (GSS), a telecommunications arm of Russia’s energy giant Gazprom.
It lifted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 5:13 p.m. Moscow time [13:13 GMT], Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.
The Yamal-402 satellite, built by Thales Alenia Space, is equipped with 46 Ku-band transponders providing for the coverage zone over the most part of the territory of Russia, CIS, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
It is expected reach its orbit at 2.28 a.m. Moscow time on Sunday [22:28 GMT Saturday]
This is the second Yamal-class telecoms satellite launched for GSS this year.
The Yamal-300K telecoms satellite, built by Russia’s Reshetnev space company, was orbited on November 3. Its service zone covers 95% of the Russian territory.
GSS, formerly known as Gazcom, currently operates a cluster of four Yamal telecoms satellites in orbit.
The company is planning to have a Yamal satellite network in orbit by 2020.