ILS Proton Rocket Launches Sirius FM-6 Satellite

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PARIS — An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket on Oct. 26 successfully placed the Sirius FM-6 radio-broadcast satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit, and the satellite on Oct. 28 began firing its thrusters to move into final position, ILS and satellite builder Space Systems/Loral said.

The launch, from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, was the sixth for Reston, Va.-based ILS in 2013, despite the grounding of the Proton following a July failure of a Russian government mission that was not handled by ILS. 

The company plans one more commercial launch this year, and between five and seven commercial missions in 2014. 

Sirius FM-6, owned by Sirius XM Radio of New York, weighed 6,003 kilograms at launch. It was built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, Calif., and is designed to provide 20 kilowatts of power to the payload over the satellite’s 15-year service life at its operating position of 116.15 degrees west longitude. It is the 10th 20-kilowatt satellite placed into orbit.

Sirius FM-6 features a 9-meter-diameter unfurlable reflector antenna built by Harris Corp. of Melbourne, Fla.

Space Systems/Loral, in an Oct. 28 statement, said the satellite is healthy in orbit and had deployed its solar arrays. 

 

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