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Proton launches EchoStar satellite
Posted: Sun, Mar 21, 2010, 11:55 AM ET (1555 GMT)
Proton launch of EchoStar 14 (ILS) A Proton rocket successfully launched an American direct-to-home television satellite early Sunday. The Proton M lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:27 pm EDT Saturday (1827 GMT Saturday, 12:27 am local time Sunday) and placed the EchoStar 14 satellite into its planned geostationary transfer orbit a little over nine hours later. The satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral, weighed 6,384 kilograms at launch, making it the heaviest GEO satellite launched by a Proton. The satellite will be located at 119 degrees west in GEO, where its 103 Ku-band transponders will provide additional direct-to-home television programming for DISH Network. The launch was the first commercial flight of the enhanced "Phase 3" Proton, which can carry heavier payloads than previous Proton variants.
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