Russian Proton Rocket Rolled out to Launch Pad

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – A Russian Proton-M rocket to be launched next week carrying two satellites was rolled out to a launch pad at the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan on Thursday, the Russian space agency said.

Final preparations are under way for the launch, scheduled for 8:25 a.m. Moscow time on April 28, according to the agency.

The launch is planned to loft two satellites into orbit, Kazakhstan’s KazSat-3 telecommunications satellite and Russia’s Luch-5V relay satellite.

The Luch-5V will be the third satellite in Russia’s Luch Satellite Data Relay Network, used to transmit live TV images and communications from the International Space Station and orbital spacecraft to Earth, in a manner similar to that of the US Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System.

The KazSat-3 satellite will provide telecommunications, TV, broadband Internet and other services in Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. It was manufactured as part a project to create a national space telecoms network.

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