MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti)
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A Proton-M carrier rocket with the YahSat 1B telecommunications satellite on board has been launched from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan, Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.
“The launch took place at the set time,” a Roscosmos spokesman said. “The separation of the satellite from the Briz-M upper stage is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Moscow time [07:30 GMT].”
The launch, which occurred at 02:18 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday (22:18 GMT Monday), had been approved by a special government commission on Monday.
The YahSat-1B satellite was built by Astrium/Thales Alenia Space consortium for the Al Yah Satellite Communications Company (United Arab Emerites).
The 6-ton satellite carries Ka-band transponders for commercial and military communications.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.