A Russian Proton-M space rocket carrying a European Astra-2G communications satellite lifted off Sunday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, a spokesman for Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said.
“The launch was carried out as planned — at 00.38 Moscow time [21:38 GMT Saturday],” the official said.
The Proton-M, built by the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, is the largest carrier rocket in Russia’s fleet of space launch vehicles. Since its first launch in 2001, the rocket has put dozens of Russian and foreign satellites into orbit.
The Astra 2G is a broadcast, VSAT and broadband services satellite that will provide the ability to connect Africa and Europe at a higher bandwidth.