By RIA Novosti
Moscow : A Russian Proton-M carrier rocket has successfully delivered U.S. telecommunications satellite DirecTV-10 into orbit, Russia's space agency said Saturday.
The rocket, powered by a Briz-M booster, was launched from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan at 5.16 a.m. Moscow time Saturday (1.16 a.m. GMT).
The launch services were 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 47 commercial Proton launches since 1996, and has 14 more launches scheduled till 2010.
The Proton vehicle launches both commercial ILS missions and Russian government payloads from the Baikonur space centre, which is operated by the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) under lease from the Republic of Kazakhstan.