MOSCOW - A military satellite was successfully launched atop the Proton-M carrier rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome on Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

“On December 21, at 03:20AM Moscow time (0020 GMT), the successful launch of the heavy class Proton-M rocket with a satellite for the Russian Defense Ministry from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan took place,” the ministry said in a statement.

All pre-launch procedures and the blastoff proceeded normally, it said.

According to the ministry, the upper stage of the Proton-M rocket, comprising the Briz-M booster and the satellite, separated as scheduled. Putting the spacecraft into the designated orbit will take several hours, it said.