Russia launches Gazprom telecom satellite

Dec. 8, 2012 at 11:58 AM

MOSCOW, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Russian space officials said the successfully launched a telecommunications satellite for the energy company Gazprom Saturday.

The Yamal-class satellite was launched aboard a Proton-M rocket and was expected to lock into its planned orbit overnight, the government space agency Roscosmos said in a written statement.

The Yamal belongs to Gazprom Space Systems, the telecom unit of energy giant Gazprom. Its 46 Ku-band transponders will provide coverage of Russia, Africa and the Middle East, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency said.

It was the second Yamal sent into space for GSS this year. The first one, launched in November, covers virtually all of Russia's vast territory.

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