Russian rocket boosts Canadian communications satellite

A Russian booster rocket launched a Canadian telecommunications satellite into space, an Associated Press report said.

The Associated Press report said the heavy-lift Proton-M rocket blasted off from Russia 's main space facility in Baikonur, Kazakhstan, carrying the European-built Anik F3 satellite and briefly lighting up the night skies over desolate steppes.

The satellite was manufactured by EADS Astrium, an arm of the European Airspace group EADS, for the satellite communications company Telesat Canada, the report said.

The satellite, which weighs 4,600 kilograms and has a life span of 15 years, will provide telephone and Internet services as well as television and radio broadcasting across North America, the manufacturer said on its Web site, it added.

The satellite is then expected to become operational in several weeks, the report said.