WASHINGTON — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze-M rocket successfully launched the Ka-band DirecTV 12 television broadcasting satellite Dec. 29 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome 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.


Warren Ferster is the Editor-in-Chief of SpaceNews and is responsible for all the news and editorial coverage in the weekly newspaper, the spacenews.com Web site and variety of specialty publications such as show dailies. He manages a staff of seven reporters...