An official launch date
and time have been set for XM “Roll,” the second of two powerful
Boeing 702-model spacecraft built for XM Satellite Radio Inc. by
Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS), a unit of The Boeing Co.

With the Sea Launch ocean platform well on its way to its launch
site on the equator, XM “Roll” is officially scheduled to launch on
May 8, with the 45-minute launch window opening at 3:10 p.m. PDT
(6:10 p.m. EDT and 10:10 p.m. GMT). The Sea Launch platform left its
Long Beach home port on April 25.

The launch of Roll will come less than two months after its twin,
dubbed “Rock,” was successfully launched March 18, also by Sea Launch.
Roll will operate in geosynchronous orbit at 85 degrees West
longitude; Rock is stationed at 115 degrees West longitude.

“Boeing is proud to deliver the second half of the XM Satellite
Radio space segment,” said Randy Brinkley, president of Boeing
Satellite Systems. “Just as our technology once helped kick off
digital direct-to-home television in the United States, these two
Boeing 702 spacecraft will enable XM to deliver an exciting new kind
of radio programming to subscribers across the country. Long live Rock
and Roll.”

Each of XM’s satellites is designed to provide 18 kilowatts of
total spacecraft power at beginning of life. To generate spacecraft
power, each of the satellite’s two solar wings employ five panels of
high-efficiency, dual-junction gallium arsenide solar cells developed
by Spectrolab, another Boeing company. When fully deployed, the solar
wings span 132.5 feet and the antennas extend to 46.6 feet.

Together, the two spacecraft will deliver 100 channels of
crystal-clear, digital-quality music, news and information programming
to XM radios across the United States.

The XM spacecraft carry a unique digital audio radio payload built
by Alcatel Space Industries. The payload features two active
transponders, each with 16 active (and six spare) 228-watt traveling
wave tube amplifiers generating approximately 3,000 watts of RF signal
power, making these the most powerful commercial transponders ever

“This is truly an exciting time for XM Satellite Radio, and for
all radio listeners throughout the country,” said Hugh Panero,
president and chief executive officer of XM Satellite Radio. “With one
powerful satellite in orbit and the second one ready to launch, plus
our new Broadcast Center, XM chips in production and XM-ready radios
on retail shelves, we are within months of inaugurating our
revolutionary nationwide digital audio radio programming.”

The spacecraft will weigh approximately 9,800 pounds at launch and
6,500 pounds in orbit. It has two 16.4-foot folding deployable S-band
transmit reflectors and one X-band global receive antenna.

To provide 15 years’ service, the Boeing 702 carries the
flight-proven xenon ion propulsion system (XIPS) for all on-orbit
maneuvering. The XIPS were built by Boeing Electron Dynamic Devices

XM will transform radio, an industry that has seen little
technological change since FM, almost 40 years ago. XM will create and
package up to 100 channels of digital-quality sound and provide
coast-to-coast coverage of music, news, sports, talk, comedy and
children’s programming. XM won several awards at the International
Consumer Electronics Show in January, including “Best of CES” in the
automotive category. Service is scheduled to begin this summer.

XM-ready radios are being manufactured by such household names as
Sony, Alpine, Pioneer, Clarion, Blaupunkt, Delphi-Delco, Visteon,
Panasonic and Sanyo; and are available for sale by retailers including
Circuit City, Best Buy, Sears, RadioShack franchisee dealer stores and

XM’s strategic investors include America’s leading car, radio and
satellite TV companies — General Motors, American Honda Motor Co.
Inc., Clear Channel Communications, DIRECTV and Motient Corp., the company’s largest shareholder. XM has a long-term
distribution agreement with General Motors to integrate XM radios into
its vehicles commencing in 2001. For more information, visit the XM
Web site at

Alcatel builds next-generation networks, delivering integrated
end-to-end voice and data networking solutions to established and new
carriers as well as enterprises and consumers worldwide. With 130,000
employees and sales of EURO 31 billion in 2000, Alcatel operates in
more than 130 countries.

Boeing Satellite Systems Inc. is the world’s leading manufacturer
of commercial communications satellites, and is also a major provider
of space systems, satellites and payloads for national defense,
science and environmental applications. The company was formed in
October 2000 when Boeing acquired the Hughes Electronics satellite
manufacturing companies, which included Hughes Space and
Communications Co., Hughes Electron Dynamics, Spectrolab Inc. and
Hughes Electronics’ 50 percent share of HRL Laboratories.

The Boeing Co., with headquarters in Seattle, is the largest
aerospace company in the world and the United States’ leading
exporter. It is the world’s largest manufacturer of commercial
jetliners and military aircraft, and the largest NASA contractor. The
company’s capabilities in aerospace also include rotorcraft,
electronic and defense systems, missiles, rocket engines, launch
vehicles, and advanced information and communication systems.

The company has an extensive global reach with customers in 145
countries and manufacturing operations throughout the United States,
Canada and Australia.

Note to Editors: Boeing Satellite Systems will provide
simultaneous Webcast of the launch beginning 2:50 p.m. Pacific
Daylight Time on the launch day. The Webcast can be viewed at