MOSCOW, Dec. 1, 2000 – International Launch Services (ILS) successfully launched the third digital audio radio service satellite into high inclination orbit today for Sirius Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) of New York. The Proton launch was conducted for Space Systems/Loral by ILS’ combined American and Russian team.
The satellite, which is the third in the three-satellite Sirius constellation, was launched on a Proton/ Block DM at 12:59 a.m. Baikonur time (2:59 p.m. Nov. 30 EST USA) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Successful spacecraft separation was confirmed approximately 2½ hours after liftoff.
Dr. Mark Albrecht, ILS president, stated: “We are extremely pleased to have satisfied our commitment to Space Systems/Loral and its customer, Sirius Satellite Radio. ILS is proud to help both companies achieve their business objectives with 100% mission success.”
Albrecht added, “We’re always thrilled at ILS when we complete a mission, but to launch an entire constellation for a customer in only five months is particularly rewarding for us.”
For ILS, the McLean, Va.-based launch services provider, the mission marks its sixth flight with Proton this year and its 18th successful launch on Proton since formation of the ILS joint venture in 1995. The two other satellites in Sirius’ three-satellite constellation also were launched aboard Proton, in June and in September of this year. The six ILS launches are among 14 total Proton launches in 2000. Proton is built by Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center at its complex near Moscow, Russian Federation.
“This is the first time ever that three high-power satellites have been successfully launched within a five-month period to establish a dedicated communications system,” said Robert D. Briskman, executive vice president, engineering, for Sirius Satellite Radio.
From its three orbiting satellites, Sirius (http://www.siriusradio.com) will directly broadcast up to 100 channels of digital-quality radio to motorists throughout the continental United States for a monthly subscription fee of $9.95. Sirius will deliver 50 channels of commercial-free music in virtually every genre, and up to 50 channels of news, sports, talk, comedy and children’s programming. Sirius’ broad and deep range of almost every music format as well as its news, sports and entertainment programming is not available on conventional radio in any market in the United States.
Sirius has alliances to install three-band (AM/FM/SAT) radios in Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes, Mazda, Jaguar and Volvo vehicles as well as Freightliner and Sterling heavy trucks. Numerous manufacturers will furnish radios to automakers, and will also provide adapters to electronics retailers that will allow radios in existing vehicles to receive Sirius broadcasts.
“We are very pleased to be working again with ILS,” said John Klineberg, president of Space Systems/Loral. “We are also pleased that this launch has been as successful as the earlier Sirius launches.”
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, a subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications (NYSE: LOR) and a premier designer, manufacturer and integrator of powerful satellites and satellite systems. SS/L also provides a range of related services, including mission control operations and procurement of launch services. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., the company has an international base of commercial and governmental customers whose applications include broadband digital communications, wireless telephony, direct-to-home broadcast, environmental monitoring and air traffic control. SS/L is ISO 9001 certified. For more information, visit http://www.ssloral.com.
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 rockets 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 and the Lockheed Khrunichev Energia International joint venture.