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Proton launches EchoStar satellite
Posted: Wed, Nov 21, 2012, 6:43 PM ET (2343 GMT)
Proton launch of EchoStar 16 (ILS) A Proton rocket successfully launched an American communications satellite on the same day that the company that markets the Proton commercially replaced its president. The Proton M rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:31 pm EST Tuesday (1831 GMT Tuesday, 12:31 am local time Wednesday). Its Breeze M upper stage released the EchoStar 16 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit 9 hours and 12 minutes after liftoff. The satellite, a Space Systems/Loral 1300-series satellite, weighed 6,683 kilograms at launch and carries 36 Ku-band transponders. EchoStar will use the satellite at 61.5 degrees west in GEO to provide direct-to-home television services in the US. The launch took place the same day that International Launch Services (ILS), the company that markets the Proton to commercial customers, announced that president Frank McKenna was leaving, and would be replaced by Phil Slack, ILS's vice president and CFO. ILS gave no reason for the move.
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