Russia launches US communication satellite

Russia put into orbit US Sirius XM-5 communications satellite from Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

Updated: Oct 15, 2010, 18:24 PM IST

Moscow: Russia on Friday put into orbit a US communication satellite that is part of a satellite radio network, from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

The US Sirius XM-5 communications satellite was launched by Russian Proton-M heavy space launch vehicle, Roskosmos, the Federal Space Agency said.

The Proton-M blasted off from the Baikonur Space Centre in Kazakhstan at 00.23 hours IST today. "The Russian part of the programme is complete. The spacecraft separated from the Briz-M upper stage 9 hours and 12 minutes after the blastoff," a Roskosmos spokesman was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

Sirius XM-5 is a geostationary satellite built by Space Systems/Loral, will function as an in-orbit backup for the Sirius XM satellite radio network.

Russia had also launched all previous four Sirius series spacecraft under a contract between the Russian-US joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) and the
Sirius XM Radio, Inc.