ILS Proton Rocket Launches Sirius FM-6 Satellite
PARIS — An( ) 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 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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