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November 25, 2009

Eutelsat W7 finally takes to the air

by David Allen

The Proton Breeze M rocket provided by International Launch Services (ILS) was launched on schedule yesterday at 14.19 GMT, 24 hours later than expected.

On board was the 5.6 tonne communications satellite known as W7 owned by Eutelsat, which after just nine hours and twelve minutes was placed into geosynchronous transfer orbit.

The successful launch from the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan means another step forward in Eutelsat’s satellite programme.

There are four more planned launches due to take place before 2012.

The W7 is a satellite based on the Spacebus 4000C4.

It was built for Eutelsat by the UK based firm, Thales Alenia Space.

The launch was initially delayed when the Kazakh authorities made a series of complaints.

Clearly these objections must have been cleared up in order for the launch to take place.

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