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Russia launches U.S. satellite

  |   June 1, 2012 at 9:07 AM
MOSCOW, June 1 (UPI) -- Russia launched a U.S. telecommunications satellite into space Friday from a site in the equatorial Pacific Ocean, officials said.

The Russian-based space corporation Energia said the Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off from the launch pad Odyssey at 5:23 GMT. An hour later, the Intelsat 19 satellite, which weighs more than 6 tons, was inserted into geosynchronous transfer orbit on its way to a final orbital position at 166 degrees east longitude.

Operators at the Intelsat launch control center acquired the spacecraft's first signals from orbit shortly after spacecraft separation, officials said.

"Intelsat 19 will provide capacity specifically designed for our customers to offer enhanced media content delivery, broadband and mobility services across the Pacific Ocean region," Intelsat's Thierry Guillemin said in a statement.

The Odyssey platform is operated by the Swiss-based rocket company Sea Launch.

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