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Russia to launch U.S. telecoms satellite from Baikonur

RIA Novosti

09:2130/06/2009 MOSCOW, June 30 (RIA Novosti) - A Proton-M rocket with a U.S. telecommunications satellite will be launched on Tuesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan, the Russian Federal Space Agency said.

Russian-American joint venture International Launch Services (ILS) signed a contract in March to launch two Sirius satellites to expand the existing SIRIUS Satellite Radio constellation.

ILS, owned by the Khrunichev Center, RSC Energia, and U.S. firm Space Transport Inc. provides spacecraft launch services on board Proton-M carrier rockets.

The launch of the Sirius FM5 satellite will be the fifth involving a Proton-M carrier rocket in 2009 and the 346th throughout the history of Proton launches.

ILS launched SIRIUS' initial constellation of three Radiosat satellites in 2000.

Sirius Satellite Radio is a satellite radio (SDARS) service operating in the United States and Canada, owned by Sirius XM Radio. Headquartered in New York City, Sirius was officially launched on July 1, 2002 and currently provides 69 music channels and 65 sports, news and entertainment channels for listeners.

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