ILS Proton Successfully Launches Sirius FM-6 Satellite for Sirius XM Radio

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ILS Proton Successfully Launches Sirius FM-6 Satellite for Sirius XM Radio

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ILS Proton successfully placed the Sirius FM-6 satellite into geostationary transfer orbit for Sirius …


International Launch Services (ILS), a leader in providing mission integration and launch services to the global commercial satellite industry, successfully carried the Sirius FM-6 satellite, built by SSL, into orbit today on an ILS Proton for Sirius XM Radio Inc.

The ILS Proton Breeze M vehicle launched from Pad 39 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 00:09 today local time (18:09 GMT and 14:09 EDT on October 25). The first three stages of the Proton used a standard ascent profile to place the orbital unit (Breeze M upper stage and the Sirius FM-6 satellite) into a sub-orbital trajectory. From this point in the mission, the Breeze M performed planned mission maneuvers to advance the orbital unit first to a circular parking orbit, then to an intermediate orbit, followed by a transfer orbit, and finally to a geostationary transfer orbit. Separation of the Sirius FM-6 satellite occurred approximately 9 hours and 11 minutes after liftoff. The satellite, weighing over 6 metric tons, was built on the flight-proven SSL 1300 platform. This was the 6th satellite launched by ILS Proton for SiriusXM and the 27th SSL 1300 satellite launched.

Sirius FM-6 has an X-band uplink transponder and an S-band downlink transponder to deliver digital audio radio service. With approximately 20 Kw end-of-life power and an anticipated service life of 15 years, the Sirius FM-6 satellite is one of the most powerful satellites built today. The final orbital location for the satellite will be 116.15 degrees west longitude.

This was the 390th launch for Proton since its maiden flight in 1965 and the 83rd ILS Proton Launch overall. The Proton Breeze M vehicle is developed and built by Khrunichev Research and Production Space Center of Moscow, Russia’s premier space industry manufacturer and majority shareholder in ILS.

Phil Slack, president of ILS commented, “For over a decade, SiriusXM has entrusted ILS Proton to deliver their satellites into orbit. It is a tremendous honor for ILS to have been a part of the satellite radio industry since 2000, with the launch of SiriusXM’s first generation fleet on ILS Proton within a 5 month period. Thank you to all of the teams that made this successful launch possible, including SiriusXM, SSL, Khrunichev, and ILS.”

About ILS and Khrunichev

ILS is a leader in providing launch services for global satellite operators and offers a complete array of services and support, from contract signing through mission management and on-orbit delivery. ILS has exclusive rights to market the Proton vehicle to commercial satellite operators worldwide and is a U.S. company headquartered in Reston, VA., near Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

Khrunichev, which holds the majority interest in ILS, is one of the cornerstones of the Russian space industry. Khrunichev manufactures the Proton system and is developing the Angara launch system. The Proton launches from facilities at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and has a heritage of more than 385 missions since 1965. Khrunichev 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. For more information, visit

About Sirius XM Radio

Sirius XM Radio Inc. is the world’s largest radio broadcaster measured by revenue and has 25.6 million subscribers. SiriusXM creates and broadcasts commercial-free music; premier sports talk and live events; comedy; news; exclusive talk and entertainment; and the most comprehensive Latin music, sports and talk programming in radio. SiriusXM is available in vehicles from every major car company in the U.S. and from retailers nationwide as well as at SiriusXM programming is available through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and other connected devices as well as online at SiriusXM also provides premium traffic, weather, data and information services for subscribers in cars, trucks, RVs, boats and aircraft through SiriusXM Traffic™, SiriusXM Travel Link, NavTraffic®, NavWeather™, SiriusXM Aviation, SiriusXM Marine™, Sirius Marine Weather, XMWX Aviation™, and XMWX Marine™. SiriusXM holds a minority interest in SiriusXM Canada which has more than 2 million subscribers.

On social media, join the SiriusXM community on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Media Inquiries:
International Launch Services
Karen Monaghan, Director of Communications and Customer Relations
mobile: +1-571-282-5195
For more information, visit the ILS website at


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