Communications satellite leaves Kazakhstan

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, April 26 (UPI) -- A rocket launched from Kazakhstan carried a U.S. communications satellite into orbit above the Earth successfully, corporate executives said.

An International Launch Services Proton-M carrier rocket deployed from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan, delivering the SES-1 satellite into orbit.


Christopher Richmond, senior vice president at Orbital Sciences Corp., said the weekend mission was proceeding as planned.

"The ILS Proton accurately delivered the satellite into its intended orbit and the spacecraft has been performing nominally since its separation from the launch vehicle," he said.

Richmond added that his company, which designed, built and tested the SES-1, has another five communications satellite set for orbit in 2010. The SES-1 was built through a partnership with satellite operator SES World Skies.

The SES-1 delivers coverage for all 50 U.S. states in the C- and Ku-band frequencies. The launch took place Saturday, with the SES spacecraft separating from the launch craft 8 hours and 58 minutes after liftoff.

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