Image: Proton launch
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A Russian Proton-M rocket lofts Arabsat's Badr 4 satellite into space Wednesday.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 11/8/2006 10:16:33 PM ET 2006-11-09T03:16:33

A Russian rocket carried an Arab communications satellite into space Wednesday, Russian news agencies reported.

A Proton-M rocket lifted off from the Russian-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan with the Badr 4 satellite attached to the Breeze-M upper stage, the reports said, citing Russian space officials.

The rocket successfully put the satellite into its designated transfer orbit, said Antoine Bouvier, chairman and chief executive officer of Astrium, the satellite's manufacturer.

The satellite, also known as the Arabsat 4B, was launched for the Arab communications company Arabsat. International Launch Services, the launch provider, said the satellite would provide direct-to-home television as well as voice and broadband services across the Middle East, North Africa and parts of Europe.

Russia's launch of the Arabsat 4A satellite failed last winter when the rocket was unable to deliver it into the designated orbit after separation from the Proton-M booster.

This report includes information from The Associated Press and MSNBC.com.

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