International Launch Services (ILS) reports that the Sirius XM FM-5 satellite has been successfully deployed into orbit. The satellite was carried aloft Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan by a Russian-made Proton rocket.
“ILS Proton has been a steady, trusted and reliable solution for our business over the years, providing flawless launches for each of our satellites. Our relationship with ILS spans well beyond contract signing; we work side by side throughout the mission to ensure success. We thank the entire mission team for its diligence and hard work for the launch of Sirius FM-5, to expand our growing constellation and our range of services,” said David Frear, Executive Vice President and CFO, Sirius XM, in statement released by ILS.
The launch summary from ILS: “The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the cosmodrome at 1:10 a.m. today local time (3:10 p.m. EDT, 19:10 GMT). After a 9 hour 14 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite [made in the US by Space Systems/Loral], weighing over 5.8 metric tons, into geo-transfer orbit. This was the 346th launch for the Proton. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space manufacturer.”
As noted in our previous story, this is the first geostationary satellite for Sirius, which has three satellites currently operating in elliptical orbits. The XM side of the merged company uses only geostationary satellites.