New DirecTV Bird Is Aloft

DirecTV 9S, a satellite built by Space Systems/Loral, was successfully launched into orbit Friday aboard an Ariane 5 ECA rocket from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, the companies said.

DirecTV said the “multiple frequency bands and capability to provide high-power local TV service from multiple orbital slots provide us with tremendous flexibility to maximize the services we provide to our customers."

The satellite is similar to DirecTV 7S, launched in May 2004, with the addition of two Ka-band transponders. It will be positioned at 101 degrees west longitude. Weighing approximately 5,530 kilograms at liftoff, it’s fitted with 52 high-power Ku-band transponders and 2 Ka-band transponders. It has a design life of 15 years.