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Gazprom Satellite Eventually Reaches Orbit

A Gazprom-owned communications satellite eventually reached orbit early Tuesday after space officials successfully corrected the satellite's course.

The Federal Space Agency told Interfax that the satellite was supervised by Thales Alenia Space, the European company that manufactured the satellite for state energy giant Gazprom, as it maneuvered into position.

"The planned maneuver was carried out according to plan," an unidentified space agency official said.

The Yamal-402 satellite, which was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome on Saturday, initially failed to reach its designated orbit after its Russian-made Briz-M booster block failed, news reports said.

A later attempt to correct its course also ended in failure.

Gazprom's space subsidiary, Gazprom Space Systems, ordered the satellite to offer broadcasting to customers in Russia, Western and Central Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

Experts told Interfax that the satellite's service life would be shortened by the maneuvering it took to reach orbit, as the satellite will have burned through some of its fuel supply.

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