A Proton Breeze M launcher placed the DIRECTV 8 satellite into orbit this weekend, marking the fourth successful mission of the year for International Launch Services.
After launch, he satellite separated from the rocket into an elliptical geosynchronous transfer orbit. Satellite controllers confirm that DIRECTV 8 is functioning properly. Over the next ten days the satellite will be maneuvered into a circular geosynchronous orbit, 22,300 miles above the equator.
"We're pleased that DIRECTV chose ILS and Proton to launch this important satellite, which will provide support for the expansion of new digital and high-definition services," said Mark Albrecht of ILS.
The DIRECTV 8 satellite, built by Space Systems/Loral, carries both Ku-band and Ka-band payloads. Its final operating position is 101 degrees West longitude.
"We congratulate the ILS launch team on their flawless execution in placing DIRECTV 8 into orbit today," said Jim Butterworth of DIRECTV. The satellite "will play an important role in strengthening our satellite fleet and the rollout of new services."