Proton Launches DirecTV 12

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WASHINGTON An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze-M rocket successfully launched the Ka-band DirecTV 12 television broadcasting satellite Dec. 29 from the BaikonurCosmodrome in Kazakhstan, ILS announced.

DirecTV 12, a 702 model satellite built by Boeing Satellite Systems of El Segundo, Calif., weighs more than 5.9 metric tons and reached geostationary-transfer orbit 9 hours and 10 minutes after a 6:22 a.m. liftoff. The satellite will provide additional high-definition and other digital local and national channels in the United States for El Segundo-based DirecTV.

It was the seventh and final mission of the year for ILS of McLean, Va., which markets the Russian-built Proton commercially.