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Russian Rocket Launches TV Satellite
A Russian-built Proton rocket launched the Nimiq 6 television satellite.
Credit: ILS

PARIS — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket on Friday (May 18) successfully placed Telesat’s Nimiq 6 direct-broadcast television satellite into geostationary transfer orbit in the fifth Proton liftoff of 2012 and the fourth commercial mission for ILS.

Ottawa, Canada-based Telesat will operate Nimiq 6 at 91.1 degrees west, where its 32 Ku-band transponders will provide television services for Canada’s Bell TV. Bell TV has leased the satellite’s entire payload for 15 years, meaning Nimiq 6 will provide an immediate revenue boost to Telesat once it is declared ready for service.

Nimiq 6 weighed about 9,920 pounds (4,500 kilograms) at launch and was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif.

Launched from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Russian-built Proton rocket’s Breeze M upper stage flew for nine hours and 14 minutes, and completed five ignitions, before releasing Nimiq 6, Reston, Va.-based ILS said in a statement.

This article was provided by Space News, dedicated to covering all aspects of the space industry.