An ILS Proton rocket lifts off from Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying the Intelsat 31 satellite. Credit: video grab

An International Launch Services-brokered Proton rocket carrying an Intelsat satellite lifted off early Thursday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Proton M launched at 3:10 a.m. Eastern Thursday(1:10 p.m. local time) after a one-day delay caused by a faulty connector on the launch vehicle. Spacecraft separation will take place more than 15 hours after liftoff.

Intelsat 31, built by SSL and weighing nearly 6,500 kilograms, will operate at 95 degrees west in GEO to provide services for DirecTV Latin America.

The launch marks Reston, Virginia-based International Launch Service’s second Proton mission of 2016. [TASS]

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Jeff Foust writes about space policy, commercial space, and related topics for SpaceNews. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a bachelor’s degree with honors in geophysics and planetary science...