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Proton launches Intelsat spacecraft
Posted: Fri, Feb 12, 2010, 8:24 PM ET (0124 GMT)
Proton launch of Intelsat 16 (ILS) A Proton rocket launched an Intelsat communications satellite early Friday. The Proton M lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:39 pm EST Thursday (0039 GMT, 6:39 am local time Friday) and placed the Intelsat 16 satellite into a "near geostationary orbit" nine and a half hours later. The spacecraft, an Orbital Sciences Star 2.4 model, weighed 2,069 kilograms and carries 24 Ku-band transponders. The spacecraft will operate at 58 degrees west in GEO to provide direct-to-home television programming for Mexico and Brazil. The launch was the first commercial Proton mission of 2010 and the second Proton launch in two weeks, after a Russian government mission in late January.
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