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XM Launches 2nd Bird

XM Launches 2nd Bird

XM Satellite Radio’s (Nasdaq: XMSR) second satellite, “Roll,” is on its planned path toward orbit.
Liftoff occurred at 6:10 p.m. Tuesday EDT off the Sea Launch Company’s Odyssey Launch Platform in open waters of the Pacific Ocean on the equator. A ground station in Perth, Australia, at 7:20 p.m, captured the first signals from the satellite.
“Roll” launched from 154 degrees West Longitude. Its final position will be at 85 degrees West Longitude. A 200-foot Zenit-3SL rocket lifted the 10,289 lb. digital audio radio satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit.
As Roll heads for orbit, XM’s first satellite, “Rock,” has settled into geostationary orbit at 115 degrees West Longitude and begun to transmit and receive test signals. Rock is scheduled to begin broadcasting in mid-May — preparing for commercial service late this summer.
All three XM satellites, “Rock,” “Roll,” and a spare which is built and in its final testing phase, are Boeing 702 models, manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems. The XM spacecraft carry a digital audio radio payload built by Alcatel Space Industries. The payload features two active transponders, each with 16 active (and six spare) 228-watt traveling wave tube amplifiers generating approximately 3,000 watts of RF signal power.