International News :Russia launches Proton-M rocket with Dutch telesat

Russia conducted the launch of a Proton-M rocket with a telecommunications satellite late Monday.

According to Russia's federal space agency Roscosmos, the Russian Proton-M launch vehicle carrying the Dutch SES-5 telecoms satellite lifted off from the Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan after a series of delays, RIA Novosti reported.

The SES-5, built by US company Space Systems/Loral for the Dutch operator SES World Skies, has been designed to provide various satellite services to customers in Africa, Middle East and Europe. The satellite has a life span of 15 years.

"The launch occurred at the calculated time. The separation of the spacecraft from the Briz-M upper-stage rocket is expected at 07.50 a.m. Moscow time July 10," said Roscosmos's spokesperson.

Russia earlier deferred Proton-M rocket's launch twice due to technical reasons, Xinhua reported.

On June 19, the rocket was removed from its launching pad ahead of the launch due to a technical error, according to Roscosmos.

During pre-launch tests, a malfunction was detected in the guiding system of the rocket's first stage, Roscosmos said.

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