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Proton Rocket Lifts Off

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Proton rocket lifts off with Russian military payload

A Russian military communications satellite is taking a nine-hour ride to orbit overnight Monday after a smooth liftoff aboard a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The payload is heading for a precise delivery to a 22,300-mile-high orbit by the launcher's Breeze M upper stage.

Russia's third Raduga 1M communications satellite blasted off at 2346 GMT (6:46 p.m. EST) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

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