Sirius FM-5 Ready to Launch

[Satellite Today 06-30-09] The Sirius FM-5 satellite, set to be placed at the 96 degrees West orbital slot, is ready to be launched on board an International Launch Services (ILS) Proton Breeze rocket for Sirius XM Radio later today, ILS announced June 30.
    Sirius FM-5 will have an end-of-life power output of 20 kilowatts and a 9-meter origami-folded reflector dish — a design aimed at sending clearer signals to Sirius XM’s smaller receiver units.
    Unlike Sirius’ other satellites, FM-5 will be geostationary, similar to XM’s Rock, Roll, Rhythm and Blues satellites. Like the other Sirius satellites, FM-5 was built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L), based on its LS-1300 platform. SS/L also is building FM-6, a satellite designed to operate in a highly inclined elliptical orbit and a physical duplicate of FM-5. Both FM-5 and FM-6 are part of Sirius’ plans to replace three active Sirius satellites — once per year through 2012 — and consolidate transponders.

A full launch preview of Sirius FM-5, as well as tomorrow’s launch of TerreStar-1, is now available to our premium subscribers of Satellite News, our premiere b-to-b news service. To access this feature, visit www.satellitetoday.com/vip to subscribe.

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