MOSCOW, Sept. 5, 2000 – International Launch Services (ILS) successfully launched the Sirius-2 digital audio radio service satellite into high inclination transfer orbit today for Sirius Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI) of New York, NY, USA. The Proton launch was conducted for Space Systems Loral (SS/L) under the auspices of ILS by a combined American and Russian team.
The satellite, which is the second of a three-satellite Sirius constellation, was launched on a Proton/ Block DM from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the Republic of Kazakhstan. Successful spacecraft separation was confirmed approximately 2-1/2 hours after liftoff.
“We are extremely pleased that the Proton launch vehicle provided another successful launch for Sirius Satellite Radio and SS/L,” said Dr. Mark J. Albrecht, president of ILS. “ILS is proud of its partnering role in delivering the first digital satellite radio service in the United States and of our team’s commitment and dedication in making it a reality. We are looking forward to working with Space Systems/Loral and Sirius Satellite Radio on the Sirius-3 launch later this year.”
For ILS, the McLean, VA-based launch services provider, the Sirius-2 mission marks its third flight on Proton this year, the tenth launch for Khrunichev and the 16th successful commercial launch on Proton since formation of the ILS joint venture. The third satellite in Sirius’ three-satellite constellation is 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.
“We are very pleased to be working again with ILS to provide another one of our customers with a reliable launch,” said John Kleineberg, president of Space Systems/Loral. “We expect this launch to be as successful as the earlier launch of Sirius-1, and we look forward to an equally good launch for Sirius-3 later this year.”
From its three orbiting satellites, Sirius will directly broadcast up to 100 channels of digital-quality programming 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 and entertainment such as CNBC, NPR, SCI FI Channel, Classic Radio and the BBC. 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. In addition, Sirius has alliances with numerous manufacturers to furnish radios to automakers, as well as adapters to electronics retailers that will allow radios in existing vehicles to receive Sirius broadcasts.
“The successful launch of Sirius-2 brings us closer to 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 launching Sirius-3 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 McLean, 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.