The newest variant of the venerable Proton family, Proton-M, launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome yesterday, placing the Intelsat-31 commercial commsat into geosynchronous transfer orbit. This was the first flight of the Phase IV Proton-M. The launch was not perfectly ideal, as the second stage had one engine shut down prematurely (resulting in an impact short of the expected impact point), and the upper stage burned about half a minute longer than planned to compensate, and the initial parking orbit was a lower-energy orbit than originally intended. The Briz-M appears to have compensated for this in its second and third firings, however, and the final orbit appears nominal. Intelsat-31 will use its electric propulsion to finalize its orbit and then enter a commissioning period before it is ready to go into service. It will provide television and data for customers in Latin America.