An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton-M with Briz-M upper stage has launched with the DirecTV 10 telecommunications satellite. Launch occurred at 9:16pm Eastern from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Over nine hours of flight – including five burns of the Breeze M upper stage – was required, ahead of a successful spacecraft separation into a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO). A free launch video is available on the link below (read more).
**FREE PROTON-M/DirecTV 10 Launch video plus bonus ‘improved’ Proton overview video** – Free to all forum members (registration is free – we do not use your e-mail for spam, only to send you your forum password – which is automated)..
‘With the successful launch of our DIRECTV 10 satellite, we are, to borrow a phrase, boldly going where no TV service has gone before – a new world of up to 100 HD channels and a viewing experience unmatched in the multichannel video marketplace,’ added Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Development and Strategy, DIRECTV, Inc.
‘We congratulate the Boeing and ILS teams on a flawless launch as we begin the next countdown to September when the first of our new HD channels will be available to our customers.’
The Second Stage changes include: ‘Composite structure (carboepoxy isogrid) replaces metal in equipment bay stringerandring frame. Composite structure (carboepoxy isogrid) replaces metal in aft bay stringer-and-ring frame. Reduction of tanks mass by optimizing the weight of structural elements: aft ends, skins and rings using the same aluminum alloys,’ along with a reduction in the third stage mass.
The Breeze M upper stage has a ‘new configuration of the avionics bay due to the use of two new high-pressure tanks (80 liters) to replace six smaller tanks, and the relocation of command instruments towards the center to mitigate shock loads when the additional propellant tank is being jettisoned.’
DirecTV-10 is a commercial civil multipurpose communications satellite. The satellite, built on Boeing 702 bus, is designed to provide DIRECTV Inc. customers unprecedented local and national High Definition Television (HDTV) throughout continental United States, Alaska and Hawaii, with the ability to beam HDTV programming to 500 local markets from the company’s primary orbital slot at 101 degrees west longitude.
The satellite is the heaviest ever and most powerful DIRECTV spacecraft – and will become the 10th satellite in DirecTV geostationary orbital constellation.