Rocket thrusts DirecTV into orbit

A rocket carrying a new DirecTV satellite has lifted off from a seagoing platform in the equatorial Pacific on Wednesday, an Associated Press report said.

The Long Beach-based Sea Launch says that combined with the satellite already in orbit, the new satellite will give DirecTV capacity for 150 national HD channels and 1,500 local HD channels.

The launch was webcast from the command ship that accompanies the launch platform. Flight controllers reported all was normal in the first minutes of the flight.