Russia’s Proton-M carrier rocket with a US telecoms satellite, Intelsat-23, blasted off on Sunday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a Russian Federal Space Agency spokesman said.
“Proton-M with the Intelsat-23 satellite was launched at the designated time – 12:37 p.m. Moscow time [8:27 GMT]. The separation of the spacecraft from the Briz-M upper stage is scheduled for 22:07 p.m. Moscow time [18:07 GMT],” the spokesman said.
The launch was initially scheduled for August 23, but was postponed because of a failed satellite launch earlier that month, when two telecommunications satellites were lost due to a failure in the Russian Proton-M rocket’s upper stage.
Intelsat-23 has been built by Orbital Sciences Corporation for Intelsat Ltd., which operates the world’s most extensive satellite network, comprising over 50 satellites.
The satellite is equipped with 24 C-band and 15 Ku-band transponders and will provide telecommunications services to customers in North and Latin America, Western Europe, Africa and some islands in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
The launch of the Proton-M is conducted under a contract concluded by International Launch Services Inc. (ILS), which is owned by the Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia and US firm Space Transport Inc.