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ILS Proton Successfully Launches XM-5 Satellite

The XM-5 satellite for SIRIUS XM Radion was successfully launched by an ILS Proton on October 15, 2010 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Photo: Business Wire)
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Oct 18, 2010
International Launch Services (ILS) successfully carried the XM-5 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton for SIRIUS XM Radio, America's satellite radio company. This was the 6th commercial mission of the year for ILS and the 9th successful Proton launch of 2010. This is the 5th ILS Proton launch for SIRIUS XM Radio beginning with the first launch in 2000.

The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 12:53 a.m. today local time (2:53 p.m. EDT, 18:53 GMT). After a 9 hour 12 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the XM-5 satellite, weighing over 5.9 metric tons, into geostationary transfer orbit.

This was the 360th launch for Proton since its inaugural flight in 1965, and the 62nd ILS Proton launch overall. The Proton Breeze M launch vehicle was developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, one of the pillars of the Russian space industry and the majority shareholder in ILS.

The XM-5 satellite was built on the flight proven Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform and is the 5th satellite for SIRIUS XM in orbit built by Space Systems/Loral. XM-5 is a high power satellite and is intended to serve as an in-orbit spare for the existing fleet of SIRIUS and XM satellites.

The satellite will help enable the uninterrupted delivery of more than 130 channels of commercial-free music, and premier sports, news, talk and entertainment programming and traffic, weather, and data services to close to 20 million SIRIUS and XM subscribers. XM-5 is located at 80 degrees West, but will be situated at 85.2 degrees West after 30 days of in-orbit testing.

"The relationship we have with SIRIUS XM Radio dates back to over 10 years with the launch of the SIRIUS constellation of three satellites in 2000. The entire team of ILS, Khrunichev, SIRIUS XM and Space Systems/Loral once again worked throughout the mission to deliver the XM-5 satellite to orbit.

We thank SIRIUS XM for entrusting ILS Proton with their business and allowing us to participate in the making of satellite radio history," said ILS President Frank McKenna.

"The successful launch of XM-5 bolsters our continuity of services and will help ensure SIRIUS XM Radio's audio and data services are reliably delivered to our customers.

We knew we could count on ILS and Khrunichev to launch on-time and with flawless precision as they have been demonstrating for us for over a decade now," said David Frear, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, SIRIUS XM Radio.

ILS is a world leader in providing launch services for global satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton vehicle to commercial satellite operators worldwide and is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, VA., near Washington, D.C.

Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of 360 missions since 1965.

To date, Proton has had 26 consecutive successful launches in 27 months. Khrunichev includes, among its branches, a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation.

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Reston VA (SPX) Oct 06, 2010
International Launch Services (ILS) and Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (AsiaSat) announced a contract for the launch of AsiaSat 7 satellite on an ILS Proton. The satellite is under construction by Space Systems/Loral in Palo Alto, California. ILS and Khrunichev are implementing a mission integration schedule to support a 2011 launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. ... read more

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