DirecTV stepped closer to its goal of offering high-definition (HD) channel service nationwide with the successful launch of the DirecTV 10 satellite on Saturday. DirecTV 10, a Boeing 702 model spacecraft equipped with Ka-band transponders, was placed into orbit via an International Launch Services Proton Breeze M rocket deployed from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Sources say that the Proton launch is the third since 2002 for DirecTV, which expects to place DirecTV 10 into operation in early September. Positioned at 103° West Longitude, DirecTV 10 will work in tandem with DirecTV 11—a companion satellite slated for launch early next year—to deliver up to 1,500 local HD channels and 100 national HD channels to 75 markets. Applauding Saturday’s developments, DirecTV executive vice president Derek Chang said, “we are, to borrow a phrase, going where no TV service has gone before—a new world of up to 100 HD channels and a viewing experience unmatched in the multichannel video marketplace.”