International Launch Services (ILS) announced a contract today for the launch of two SIRIUS Satellite Radio satellites on the Proton Breeze M vehicle. ILS has conducted three launches for Sirius in the past (photo is launch of Sirius 3).
Under the terms of the deal, Sirius expects to launch SIRIUS FM-6 under the contract announced today. Sirius FM-6 is currently under construction at Space Systems/Loral and is anticipated to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2010. In their most recent call Sirius announced intentions of their next launch taking place in the first half of 2009.
The Proton booster and the Breeze M upper stage are built by ILS' Russian partner, Khrunichev Space Center of Moscow. The Proton vehicle launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
"We thank SIRIUS for selecting Proton, and for its long-term relationship with ILS," said ILS President Frank McKenna. "We launched SIRIUS' initial constellation of three satellites in 2000. Proton has the ideal performance for SIRIUS, with both its heavy-lift capability and its flexibility to carry spacecraft to various orbits."
ILS is a joint venture of Space Transport Inc., along with Khrunichev Space Center and RSC Energia of Moscow. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton, Russia's premier heavy-lift vehicle, to commercial satellite operators worldwide. The Proton has a heritage of 333 missions since 1965.
Proton builder Khrunichev is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. It was created from the merger of the Khrunichev Machine-building Plant and the Salyut Design Bureau 15 years ago. The company includes among its branches a number of key manufacturers of launch vehicle and spacecraft components in Moscow and in other cities of the Russian Federation.
via Central Daily
Position - Long Sirius