MOSCOW, July 1, 2000 – International Launch Services (ILS) successfully launched the Sirius-1 digital audio radio service satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit today for Sirius Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) of New York, NY, USA. The Proton launch was conducted under the auspices of International Launch Services (ILS) by a combined American and Russian team.
The launch occurred only 10 hours after a Lockheed Martin Atlas IIA successfully launched a NASA satellite from Cape Canaveral, FL, USA, earlier in the morning and dramatically demonstrated the two-launcher capability of ILS.
The satellite, which is the first of a three-satellite Sirius constellation, was launched on a Proton/Block DM at 04:08:47 Baikonur time (6:08:47 p.m., June 30, USA, EDT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Successful spacecraft separation was confirmed at approximately 2-1/2 hours after liftoff.
“ILS is very proud of our role in working with Sirius Satellite Radio to launch the first digital satellite radio service in the United States,” said Dr. Mark J. Albrecht, President of ILS. “This is the first of what we intend to be a record of 100 percent mission success aboard Proton for Sirius.”
Added Albrecht, “Two ILS launches on the same day, separated by only hours, is something that we are also very proud of, and it is a capability that cannot be equaled by any other launch provider.”
For ILS, the Reston, VA-based launch services provider, the Sirius-1 mission marks its second flight on Proton this year and the 14th successful commercial launch on Proton since formation of the ILS joint venture. The other two satellites in Sirius’ three-satellite constellation are also scheduled to be launched aboard Proton. Proton is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its complex near Moscow, Russian Federation.
Sirius Satellite Radio is building a digital satellite radio system to provide radio like it has never been heard before. Beginning at the end of this year, Sirius will deliver 50 channels of commercial-free music and up to 50 channels of news, sports and information seamlessly across the continental U.S. for a monthly subscription of $9.95.
“The successful launch and deployment of Sirius-1 is another major step toward the realization of our satellite radio network,” said Robert D. Briskman, Sirius executive vice president, engineering. “We congratulate our partners at ILS for their efforts in bringing about this launch, and we look forward to working closely with them to launch two more satellites in the coming months to complete our constellation.”
All Sirius satellites are custom-designed for satellite radio and are the first in the world to use the S-band for satellite delivery of audio content. They were built by Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, CA. Space Systems/Loral is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications and is a premier provider of a full range of satellite systems and services.
Headquartered in Reston, VA, USA, International Launch Services is a joint venture stock company established in 1995 to jointly market the Russian-built Proton and the Lockheed Martin-built Atlas to the worldwide satellite launch market. The company currently offers the broadest range of launcher products in the world along with the highest reliability in the industry. ILS is owned by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services (LMCLS) and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International (LKEI) joint venture.