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Baikonur space facility (file photo) (AFP) August 5, 2006 -- Russian space officials say a European telecommunications satellite has blasted into space aboard a Russian rocket.

Officials said the Proton-M rocket carrying the HotBird-8 satellite launched smoothly early today from the Baikonur space facility in Kazakhstan.

The launch came 10 days after a Dnepr rocket carrying 18 satellites failed shortly after takeof from Baikonur and crashed.

(ITAR-TASS, AP, AFP)
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