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Russian Rocket Launches TV Satellite

Russian Rocket Launches Nimiq 6 TV Satellite
A Russian-built Proton rocket launched the Nimiq 6 television satellite. (Image 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.

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Charles Q. Choi
Charles Q. Choi is a contributing writer for and Live Science. He covers all things human origins and astronomy as well as physics, animals and general science topics. Charles has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia, School of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of South Florida. Charles has visited every continent on Earth, drinking rancid yak butter tea in Lhasa, snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos and even climbing an iceberg in Antarctica. Visit him at