The Proton-M carrier rocket with the American communications satellite Sirius XM-5 will be launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome today.
"The launch of the Proton-M carrier rocket equipped with the Briz-M upper stage is scheduled for 22:53, Moscow time," spokesman for the Khrunichev State Space Research and Production Centre Alexander Bobrenev told Itar-Tass.
The Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) specified that the "area of the fall of the spent first stage of the carrier rocket is in the Karaganda region (Kazakhstan), the second stage and nose cone - in the Republic of Altai (Russia) and the third stage - in the Pacific Ocean."
"The total orbiting time from the moment of the rocket's blastoff to the separation of the spacecraft from the upper stage will be 09 hours and 12 minutes," Roskosmos noted. The satellite will take the station point on the geostationary orbit 85.2 degrees West longitude.
The Sirius XM-5 spacecraft was created by Space Systems/Loral on the order of the American satellite radio broad-casting SIRIUS XM Radio that has 20 million mobile and stationary subscribers. The satellite's design useful life in orbit is 15 years, its mass is 5,980 kilograms.
The Proton-M carrier rocket and Briz-M upper stage were designed by the Khrunichev Centre. The rocket is three-stage, liquid-propelled.
Its lift-off mass is about 700 tonnes. The Proton rockets are marketed on the space services market by International Launch Services (ILS). Khrunichev holds the controlling stake in ILS. "The coming launch will become the ninth for the Proton-M carrier rocket in 2010 and 360th in its flight history," the Khrunichev Centre recalled.
It will be the sixth for ILS in 2010 and the 62nd since the beginning of commercial exploitation the Proton in April 1996. The Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Centre was created by an RF presidential decree of 7 June 1993 on the base of the largest producers of aerospace and rocket technology: the Khrunichev Machine-building Plant and the Salyut Design Bureau.
Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Centre is one of the world's largest aerospace corporations leading the international market of space services. The Khrunichev Centre manufactured all the Russian manned orbital stations: Salyut, Mir and Almaz and also all the heavy modules that docked to the orbital stations and the three-seater recoverable spacecraft.