Baikonur Cosmodrome, April 24, 2003 — A Proton launch vehicle lifted off this morning at 10:37 a.m. (12:23 a.m. EDT) and successfully placed the Cosmos – 2397 satellite into geostationary orbit. Separation occurred approximately six and a half hours later.

This was the first Proton launch of 2003. [/newsarchives/newsreleases/rec41/ The next launch is scheduled on April 29 (April 28 in the United States) when the Proton will carry the AMC-9 satellite to orbit for Alcatel Space and SES AMERICOM under the auspices of International Launch Services.]

Built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Center in Moscow, Proton is one of the premier launch systems in the world.


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