Monday, November 01, 2010

Launch Notification: XM-5

Courtesy of AGI's Launch Notification e-mails. AGI's E-mails are sent after every launch and include key spacecraft information such as: the date, time, launch site, launcher, international number, name, and owner. Get more information on thousands of satellites and other vehicles by viewing STK models, animations, and our encyclopedic "Spacecraft Digest" database at

New Launch: 2010 October 14, 1853 UTC
Site: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Launcher: Proton-M
International Designator(s): 2010-053A

SSC Name Owner
37185 XM-5 US

"Sirius XM Radio's next broadcasting satellite rocketed away from Earth and into space Thursday, reaching a lofty perch high above Earth for a 15-year mission serving nearly 20 million subscribers in North America with music, news and variety programming.

"The company's ninth satellite lifted off at 1853 GMT (2:53 p.m. EDT) from Pad 24 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the first commercial Proton rocket launch from that complex in more than five years.

"The Proton lofted the Sirius XM 5 payload on a suborbital trajectory in less than 10 minutes, then a Breeze M upper stage fired as planned, according to International Launch Services, the Russian-owned, U.S.-based firm responsible for commercial Proton sales.

"The upper stage fired four more times overnight to raise its altitude and reduce its inclination, eventually arriving in an elliptical transfer orbit stretching more than 22,200 miles [35,700 km] from Earth at its furthest point.

"Deployment of Sirius XM 5 occurred at 0405 GMT (12:05 a.m. EDT) Wednesday, more than nine hours after liftoff."

"Sirius XM 5 will fire an on-board kick engine several times over the next few weeks to reach an orbit 22,300 miles [35,900 km] above the equator. Controllers will park the satellite at 80 degrees west longitude for a month of in-orbit testing, then the craft will drift to its long-term home at 85.2 degrees west longitude.

"The satellite will be an orbital spare for the XM 3 and XM 4 satellites currently transmitting operational radio signals, according to Lincoln Day, executive director at Space Systems/Loral, the satellite's prime contractor.

"Sirius XM 5 will join a fleet of spacecraft already beaming radio signals to receivers in cars, trucks, boats, aircraft, homes and mobile devices of more than 19.8 million subscribers."

"Two 29.5-foot-diameter [9-m-diameter] unfurlable mesh antennas will broadcast Sirius XM Radio's 135 audio channels. The antennas will be connected to an S-band downlink and X-band uplink communications payload.

"The satellite is designed to last for at least 15 years in space. Based on Loral's 1300 spacecraft bus, Sirius XM 5 will produce nearly 20 kilowatts of power at the end of its mission."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "Sirius XM Radio satellite launched by Russian rocket"