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Proton launches Intelsat 31
Posted: Sun, Jun 12, 2016, 1:06 PM ET (1706 GMT)
Proton launch of Intelsat 31 (Roscosmos) A Proton rocket successfully placed an Intelsat satellite into orbit Thursday despite an issue with the rocket. The Proton's Breeze-M upper stage released the Intelsat 31 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit late Thursday, more than 15 hours after a 3:10 am EDT (0710 GMT) liftoff from Baikonur. However, during the launch one lower stage engine shut down prematurely, causing it to underperform, although the Breeze-M was able to compensate during its series of burns. The launch was the first for the latest upgrade to the Proton, incorporating lighter-weight, but stronger, metallic structures and high-precision tooling that gives the vehicle an additional 150 kilograms of payload capacity for geostationary orbit missions. The satellite will be used to provide direct-to-home TV services for DIRECTV Latin America.
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