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Proton rocket blasts off

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Proton rocket blasts off with Russian Express satellites

A Proton rocket ascended into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Saturday and delivered a pair of Russian broadcasting satellites to orbit nine hours later to begin a streak of Proton launches for the Russian government.

The launcher took off at 2308 GMT (7:08 p.m. EDT) Saturday, or 5:08 a.m. Sunday at Baikonur, lighting up the predawn sky as its six RD-276 main engines lifted the rocket off the launch pad with more than 2 million pounds of thrust.

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