ILS Nabs Another Customer from Bankrupt Sea Launch

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An International Launch Services (ILS) Proton rocket will launch Sirius XM Radio’s XM-5 radio broadcast satellite in 2010 in what
Reston
,
Va.-based ILS said is its 10th contract award so far in 2009.

Like several other ILS contract awards this year, XM-5 was originally scheduled to be launched by Sea Launch Co. But the launch, which Sea Launch had hoped to carry out in 2009, was indefinitely postponed by Sea Launch’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. Long Beach, Calif.-based Sea Launch and Sirius XM Radio had been in negotiations over whether the contract would be maintained or rejected as part of Sea Launch’s bankruptcy reorganization.

XM-5 is a Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform expected to weigh 6,000 kilograms at launch and carry two large, unfurlable mesh antennas. It is designed to provide 19 kilowatts of power to the communications payload at the end of its 15-year life and will operate from 85 degrees west. When the satellite manufacturing contract was announced in June 2005, XM-5 was scheduled for delivery in 2007.