A giant Proton rocket has successfully launched SiriusXM’s FM-6 satellite which, once in-orbit testing is wrapped, will start transmissions from its 116 degrees West orbital slot. The actual location is in the Pacific Ocean, west of the Galapagos Islands and due south of Baja California.
The satellite is and one of the heaviest commercial satellites ever launched, weighing in at just over 6 tonnes (6018 kgs). FM-6 is the 10th craft in the Sirius-XM fleet.
It was launched following a couple of delays, but the rocket and in particular its Briz-M upper stage performed flawlessly. The final stage fired again after 9 hours in order to place the satellite into its final geostationary transfer orbit.