Today, the Sea Launch vessels arrived at the launch site on the Equator, at 154 degrees West Longitude. The Sea Launch team immediately began preparations for launch, ballasting the Launch Platform to its launch depth.
The 37.5-minute launch window will open at 2:35 p.m. PST on Monday, Jan. 8, for the liftoff of the XM-1 digital audio radio satellite, the most powerful commercial satellite ever launched. The Boeing 702 model satellite will generate 18 kilowatts of total power at the beginning of life in orbit. Boeing Satellite Systems, the world's leading manufacturer of commercial communications satellites, built the satellite for XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR) of Washington, D.C.
The Sea Launch Zenit-3SL launch vehicle will lift the 10,322 lb. (4,682 kg) XM-1 commercial payload to Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit, with the spacecraft separating from the upper stage at an altitude of about 1,400 miles above the Indian Ocean. Once in space, XM-1 will be positioned in Geosynchronous Orbit, 35,786 km (22,236 miles) above the Earth, at 85 degrees West Longitude. Designed for a 15-year lifespan, XM-1, named ROLL - together with its sister satellite XM-2, named ROCK - will broadcast digital quality programming, from country to classical, directly to vehicles, homes and offices throughout the continental United States. XM Radio is creating and packaging up to 100 channels of programming in its fully digital state-of-the-art studios by some of the country's leading artists, producers and radio format designers.
Sea Launch will provide a live satellite broadcast and simultaneous webcast of the launch on Jan. 8, beginning 2:15 p.m. Pacific Time. The program will include a live video transmission from the Equator and commentary from Sea Launch Home Port.
Viewers in the United States may view the launch in NTSC on:
GE 3C - Transponder 12 C-band Analog
Orbital Position: 87 degrees
Downlink Frequency is 3940 MHz (V)
Audio Redundant 6.2 & 6.8