A Russian Proton-M rocket blasted off Saturday from Kazakhstan's Baikonur cosmodrome carrying a US communications satellite, but failed to put the satellite in its intended orbit, Russian space officials said. "The acceleration bloc Briz-M's engine failed to work the whole scheduled time, and the satellite could not be taken to the planned orbit," officials in the Khrunichev space center said in a statement on the center's Web site. Space officials were trying to determine the satellite's current orbit and whether it was still possible to use it as planned, officials added. The AMC-14 satellite, produced by the Lockheed-Martin, is owned by SES Americom, a major telecommunications provider for North and South America. It includes an active phase array payload, which the company hailed as a key satellite technology for future missions.
Monday, March 17, 2008