THE FRIENDLY GHOST
Russia on Monday put into orbit the European Ka-Sat satellite launched overnight by a Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, space officials said.
"The satellite was successfully put into orbit at 10:03 Moscow time (0703 GMT)," the Khrunichev space centre said Monday in a statement.
This was Proton's first successful launch after a failure on December 5 of three Russian navigation satellites, Glonass, to reach orbit. They fell into the Pacific some 1,500 kilometres (937 miles) from Hawaii.
After the incident, Russia has temporarily suspended Proton launches. Some experts have said programming errors caused failures.
Ka-Sat will ensure access to broadband Internet for poorly served terrestrial networks in Europe and Mediterranean basin. The satellite was constructed by EADS Astrium for Eutelsat, Europe's leading satellite operator.