A Sea Launch Zenit-3SL rocket today successfully launched the XM "Roll" satellite, completing Sea Launch's sixth successful mission. The three-stage rocket lifted off from the Odyssey Launch Platform on the Equator at 3:10 p.m. (PDT) and the spacecraft's first signal was acquired one hour and 10 minutes later as planned.
"Roll" is the second of two launches for XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR). On March 18, Sea Launch achieved equally outstanding accuracy when it successfully placed the XM-2 satellite, "Rock," into orbit. Built by Boeing Satellite Systems, "Rock" and "Roll" are the most powerful commercial spacecraft ever launched.
"With this very successful mission, Sea Launch has helped to bring 'Rock' and 'Roll' across the continental United States," said Will Trafton, president of Sea Launch. "Completing the XM constellation is a very exciting moment in history and we are proud to be a part of it. Once again, the Zenit-3SL has proven itself as a reliable and accurate launch system."
The Zenit-3SL rocket lifted off the Launch Platform exactly on schedule from the equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude. All systems performed nominally throughout the flight. The Block DM upper stage separated from the spacecraft about 1,600 miles over the Indian Ocean, one hour and five minutes into the mission. Operators at a ground station in Perth, Australia, acquired a signal from the spacecraft approximately five minutes later. "Roll" will be positioned in Geostationary Orbit at 85 degrees West Longitude.
Designed for a 15-year lifespan, the 10,297 lb (4,672 kg) "Roll" -- like "Rock" -- is a Boeing 702 model spacecraft that will generate 18 kilowatts of total power at the beginning of life in orbit. Alcatel Space, of Toulouse, France, provided the high-power, S-band, Digital Audio Service payload. For more information about the spacecraft and the payload, please go to: www.boeing.com/satellite and www.alcatel.com/space
XM will transform radio, an industry that has seen little technological change since FM, almost 40 years ago. XM will create and package up to 100 channels of digital-quality sound and provide coast-to-coast coverage of music, news, sports, talk, comedy and children's programming. XM won several awards at the International Consumer Electronics Show in January, including "Best of CES" in the automotive category. For more information, go to the
XM Radio website.
Sea Launch Company, LLC, is a global launch service serving the global marketplace. Headquartered in Long Beach, Calif., with operations based at Sea Launch Home Port in Long Beach Harbor, the multinational partnership provides commercial satellite customers the most direct and cost-effective route to geostationary orbit. For more information, visit the
Sea Launch website.