Spaceflight Now: Proton launch report

The Sirius satellites
Posted: November 30, 2000

  Sirius 1
An artist's concept of a Sirius satellite in space. Photo: SS/L
Sirius Satellite Radio is building a subscription- based, digital satellite radio broadcasting system to be launched at the end of 2000. The company plans to broadcast up to 100 channels of music, news and entertainment programming, 50 devoted to commercial-free music. The service will offer subscribers unprecedented choice, crystal-clear sound quality, and seamless national coverage. At just $9.95 per month, Sirius will be music to the ears of millions of American motorists.

One of only two companies licensed to offer satellite radio, Sirius has formed strategic alliances with leading companies to develop its revolutionary service. The company has exclusive alliances to factory-install Sirius receivers in DaimlerChrysler cars and light trucks, including Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Mercedes, and is the preferred service provider for Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks. Sirius also has exclusive alliances to factory-install Sirius receivers in BMW, Ford, Jaguar, Mazda and Volvo automobiles. In addition, Sirius has alliances with leading automotive electronics manufacturers to design and develop receivers for the automotive aftermarket and for installation in new cars. These companies include Alpine, Audiovox, Clarion, Delphi Delco Electronics, Jensen, Kenwood, Panasonic, Pioneer, Sanyo and Visteon.

Sirius Satellite Radio's brand new National Broadcast Studio, one of the most sophisticated digital radio broadcasting facilities in the world, is located in the center of the nation's media and entertainment industry, New York City.

Satellite System Overview
The Sirius Satellite Radio spacecraft built by Space Systems/LORAL are three-axis stabilized, direct broadcast, Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) designed to operate in the X- and S-frequency bands and based on the Model FS1300 satellite bus. A constellation of three satellites in an inclined and elliptical (non-geostationary) orbits is used to provide continuous coverage to Continental United States (CONUS) coverage area with each satellite being active for a nominal 16 hours a day when the ground track is above the equator. The satellites are designed for 15 year mission life (operational life). At launch Sirius-2 satellite weighs approximately 8300 pounds.

The on-orbit-deployed dimensions of the satellite are approximately 81.4 ft long, 18.4 ft wide and 17 ft tall. At the end of life (EOL), during normal sun conditions, two solar arrays with five panels each generate 9.3 kW of power. The peak beam effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) from the satellite is approximately 67 dBW.

Constellation/Orbit Overview

Illustration of the the Sirius constellation. Photo: ILS
The Sirius Satellite Radio constellation and orbit were selected to provide high elevation, continuous coverage to the Continental United States (CONUS). The elevation is achieved by using a highly inclined orbit. Continuous coverage is achieved by utilizing three satellites in a constellation. The orbit is a highly inclined, elliptical orbit with a 24-hour period. The Argument of Perigeee is selected to place the apogee at the longitude of the central United States at a nominal value of 96.0 W.

Flight data file
Vehicle: Proton/Block DM
Payload: Sirius 3
Launch date: Nov. 30, 2000
Launch window: 1959:47 GMT (2:59:47 p.m. EST)
Launch site: LC 81, Pad 23, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan

Pre-launch briefing
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.

Proton - Description of the Russian-made rocket used in this launch.