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U.S. telecoms satellite arrives at Baikonur for launch preparation

RIA Novosti

06/06/2007 16:12 MOSCOW, June 6 (RIA Novosti) - A U.S. telecommunications satellite, DirecTV-10, has been delivered to a space center in Kazakhstan in preparation for a launch scheduled for the first half of July, a leading Russian space company said Wednesday.

The DirecTV-10 is a commercial telecommunications satellite designed and manufactured by

Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems to provide consumers across the continental United States, Hawaii and Alaska with local and national High Definition Television (HDTV).

"Early this morning [Wednesday], an AN-124 Ruslan heavy transport plane, carrying a U.S. DirecTV-10 satellite landed at the Baikonur space center," said Alexander Bobrenev, a spokesman for the Khrunichev State Space Scientific Production Center.

The satellite will be put into orbit by a Russian Proton-M carrier rocket powered by a Briz-M booster.

The launch services will be provided by International Launch Services, a U.S.-Russian joint venture with exclusive rights for worldwide commercial sales and mission management of satellite launches on Russia's Proton carrier rockets.

The joint venture partners are Space Transport Inc., a privately held corporation based in the British Virgin Islands, and Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center and RSC Energia of Moscow.

The company has conducted a total of 46 commercial Proton launches since 1996, and has 15 scheduled launches through 2010.

The Proton vehicle launches both commercial ILS missions and Russian government payloads from the Baikonur space center, which is operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) under lease from the Republic of Kazakhstan.

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