Spaceflight Now

The Mission

Rocket: Proton M with Breeze M upper stage
Payload: Sirius XM-5
Date: October 14, 2010
Time: 2:53 p.m. EDT (1853 GMT)
Site: Pad 24 at Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Deploy: Launch+9 hours, 12 minutes

Baikonur welcomes Sirius XM Radio satellite for launch

Posted: September 13, 2010

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Another satellite for Sirius XM Radio's broadcasting system has arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for its launch into space next month atop a commercial Proton rocket.

Video courtesy of Roscosmos
Packaged inside a special shipping container, the satellite was flown aboard an Antonov cargo aircraft from the U.S. to the Central Asian launch base. Arrival occurred Sunday.

The payload was unloaded from the plane, went through customs clearance and then placed on a railcar for the train ride from the airfield to the satellite receiving center.

Known as Sirius XM-5, this spacecraft will operate in geostationary orbit and serve as a spare for older satellites that currently relay the music, news, sports and entertainment programming directly to radios across North America.

Space Systems/Loral built the satellite, which has a 15-year design life.

Final pre-flight testing and the loading of its maneuvering fuels will be accomplished in the next couple of weeks before the satellite is attached to the Breeze M upper stage at the processing hangar. That will be followed by encapsulation in the two-piece launch shroud and mating to the Proton rocket for rollout to the pad.

The three-stage Proton reached Baikonur on August 6 and the Breeze M arrived on August 24.

Liftoff is scheduled for October 15 at 2:53 p.m. EDT (1853 GMT), according to International Launch Services.

International Launch Services, which manages the rocket flight, has performed four previous satellite deployments for Sirius XM Radio. The initial three-bird constellation for Sirius was lofted in 2000 and another flew last summer.

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