BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan, June, 24, 2009 -- Preparations are ongoing for the launch of the SIRIUS FM-5 satellite, built by Space Systems/ Loral for SIRIUS XM Radio Inc.
Last week, assembly of the Ascent Unit (spacecraft mated to Breeze M upper stage, encapsulated inside of the payload fairing) was completed by the launch teams from Khrunichev, Space Systems/ Loral, Aerospace Sweden, and International Launch Services. After assembly, the Ascent Unit was mated to the Proton Launcher, creating the Integrated Launch Vehicle (ILV).
Early Wednesday, 24 June, the ILV was rolled out from the processing facility to the fueling station, where the Breeze M low pressure tanks will be fuelled over the next few days.
Launch is targeted for 30 June, Baikonur (29 June, EDT) on an ILS Proton Breeze M. The Russian State Commission will convene by end of week to decide if the ILV is ready to be installed onto its pad.
SIRIUS FM-5 telecommunications satellite is one of the most powerful spacecraft constructed and will transmit radio broadcasting to small, advanced devices in the United States, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.