If you skipped out on the televised launch of the DirecTV 10 satellite, you didn't miss too much, but it's safe to say that the bird is safely in orbit and should start beaming out a new array of HD offerings this September. The Boeing-built 702 model satellite lifted off at 6:16PM PDT on July 6th from "Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard an International Launch Services (ILS) Russian-built Proton Breeze M launch vehicle." After just over nine hours in flight, the rocket reportedly "left the spacecraft in a geosynchronous transfer orbit with a high point of 22,300 miles." Best of all, controllers on the ground have successfully made contact with the satellite and "confirmed that all systems are functioning properly." According to DirecTV, the spacecraft will first be maneuvered into a circular orbit at 103-degrees West longitude, and after testing is complete, it is "expected" to begin operations in early September, "delivering the first of up to 100 national HD channels by year-end." For those already looking beyond, DirecTV 11 is actually slated to launch "early next year," which will theoretically enable the provider to serve up 150 HD channels -- whenever they become available, that is.

Read - DirecTV 10's launch process
Read - ILS Proton Successfully Launches DIRECTV 10

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