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Proton launches DIRECTV satellite
Posted: Tue, Dec 29, 2009, 7:06 AM ET (1206 GMT)
Proton launch of DIRECTV 12 (ILS) A Proton rocket launched a commercial television satellite early Tuesday in the final scheduled launch of 2009. The Proton M lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:22 pm EST Monday (0022 GMT, 6:22 am local time Tuesday) and placed the DIRECTV 12 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit about nine hours later. The satellite, a Boeing 702 model, weighed approximately 5,900 kilograms at launch and carries 70 Ka-band transponders. The satellite will be located at 102.8 degrees west in GEO and be used by US direct-to-home TV broadcaster DIRECTV to provide additional capacity for HDTV programming. The launch was the seventh commercial Proton mission of 2009 and the tenth Proton mission overall. The launch is also the last announced orbital launch of 2009.
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