Proton rocket blasts off with part of European space 'data highway'

Reuters News
Posted: Jan 29, 2016 5:58 PM

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A Russian Proton rocket blasted off in Kazakhstan on Friday night to put into orbit both the first part of Europe's new space "data highway" and a Eutelsat communications satellite.

The 19-story tall Russian-built rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1720 ET (4:20 a.m. local time).

The EDRS-A node that it is carrying is the first building block of the European Data Relay Satellite (EDRS), a "big data" highway costing nearly 500 million euros ($545 million) that will harness new laser-based communications technology.

(Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Grant McCool)