Russia successfully puts communications satellite into orbit

Russia on Friday successfully put a Yamal-601 communications satellite into orbit, the country’s state space corporation Roscosmos said in a statement.

The Yamal-601 has been launched as part of the federal target program for the development of television and radio broadcasting in Russia and is the most powerful communications satellite in the Russian orbital constellation by throughput, it said.

The Proton-M carrier rocket with the satellite has been launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan, it said.

The launch mass of the satellite, manufactured by the French Thales Alenia Space company for Gazprom Space Systems, a unit of the Russian energy giant Gazprom, is more than five tons.

It will replace the Yamal-202 satellite that has been in orbit since 2003 and will provide communications and data transmission services in a large part of Russia, as well as in the states of the former Soviet Union, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

In addition, the new satellite will provide users with high-speed Internet access, the statement said.

Roscosmos said it plans at least five more launches of the Proton-M rockets with satellites before the end of this year.