BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, July 1, 2009 – ILS International Launch Services (ILS), a world leader in providing mission and launch services to the commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite into orbit today on an ILS Proton. This was the third commercial mission of the year for ILS and the fifth successful Proton launch of 2009. ILS has launched the entire SIRIUS three-satellite constellation beginning with the first launch in 2000.
The ILS Proton Breeze M launched from Pad 39 at the cosmodrome at 1:10 a.m. today local time (3:10 p.m. EDT, 19:10 GMT). After a 9 hour 14 minute mission, the Breeze M successfully released the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite, weighing over 5.8 metric tons, into geo-transfer orbit. This was the 346th launch for the Proton. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space manufacturer.
The SIRIUS FM-5 satellite, located at 96 degrees West, was built on the flight proven Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform and is the fourth satellite in SIRIUS’ constellation, all built by Space Systems/Loral. SIRIUS FM-5 is one of the most powerful satellites constructed with an X-band uplink and an S-band downlink payload. The satellite carries a range of technologies which will allow for highly concentrated transmissions to small, advanced devices.
“Our partnership with SIRIUS goes back many years; ILS has launched all of the SIRIUS satellites. It is an honor to be entrusted, once again, with the expansion of their satellite constellation, with the advanced technologies that the powerful SIRIUS FM-5 satellite will provide,” said ILS President Frank McKenna.
“ILS Proton has been a steady, trusted and reliable solution for our business over the years, providing flawless launches for each of our satellites. Our relationship with ILS spans well beyond contract signing; we work side by side throughout the mission to ensure success. We thank the entire mission team for its diligence and hard work for the launch of SIRIUS FM-5, to expand our growing constellation and our range of services,” said David Frear, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sirius XM Radio Inc.
ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton, Russia’s premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide. ILS is a U.S. company located in Reston, Virginia, near Washington, D.C. The majority owner is Khrunichev Space Center, one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry and manufacturer of the Proton system. For more information, visit www.ilslaunch.com.