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Russia Launches Satellite For Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan's first satellite, KazSat 1 has been sucessful place into orbit by a Russian Proton-K rocket. The Proton was launched from Russia's Baikonour Cosmodrome, which ironically, is situated in Kazakhstan. Launch occured on June 18th at 04:44 local time (02:44 Moscow time, 22:44 on 17th June GMT). The satellite seperated from the launcher 38 minutes later. The launch was watched by the presidents of Russia and Kazakhstan, Vladimir Putin and Nursultan Nazarbayev.

KazSat 1 will be placed into a geostationary orbit. It will provide communications and TV for Kazakhstan and has a design life of 12½ years. The satellite was built by Russia's Khrunichev space centre under a 2004 contract with the Kazkh government. Launch was originally scheduled for December 2005 but was delayed by technical problems.

Sources: MosNews, RIA Novosti, ITAR-TASS

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