Updated 8:29 p.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russia launched on Tuesday an Express-series communications satellite on board the Proton-M carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.
"The launch took place as scheduled at 07.09 p.m. Moscow time [15:09 GMT]," a Roscosmos spokesman told RIA Novosti.
"The separation of the satellite from the Briz-M booster is expected at 04.31 a.m. Moscow time on October 22 [00:31 GMT]," the official added.
Based on the heavy-class Express-2000 platform, the spacecraft will have an active lifespan of 15 years and carry 11 antennas as well as 72 C-, Ku-, Ka- и L-band transponders, according to Russia's Reshetnev Company, which designs and builds Express-series satellites.
The Express-AM6 telecommunications satellite will be operated by the Russian Satellite Communications Company (RSCC) to provide a comprehensive range of communications and broadcasting services in the Russian territory.
This is the second launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket since the major accident that took place in May 2014. Launched from Baikonur, the Proton-M rocket burned up in the atmosphere above China, leaving Russia without its most powerful telecommunications satellite. The investigation has concluded that the crash was caused by a failure of a turbo-pump bearing in the control engine of the rocket's third stage.
The Proton-M is the largest carrier rocket in Russia's fleet of space launch vehicles. Since its first launch in 2001, Proton has put dozens of Russian and foreign satellites into orbit.