A U.S. telecommunications satellite has been delivered to the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan ahead of a December 29 launch, Russia's Khrunichev center said on Friday.
DirecTV satellite operator has a contract with Russian-U.S. joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) to launch the DirecTV-12 on board a Proton-M carrier rocket to expand its existing satellite grouping.
"AN-124 Ruslan heavy transport plane with the [DirecTV-12] satellite and auxiliary launch equipment landed on Friday at the Baikonur space center," the Khrunichev Space and Research Center said in a statement.
The launch is expected to be the ninth Proton launch in 2009 and the 350th overall for the long-serving Russian carrier rocket.
The Boeing-made DirecTV-12 satellite, weighing around 6 metric tons, will become part of DirecTV satellite grouping and provide high-definition TV, Internet and communications services to subscribers in the United States.
The Khrunichev center has overseen 12 successful launches of its carrier rockets since the start of 2009.
MOSCOW, November 27 (RIA Novosti)