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MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti) - A US telecoms satellite, Sirius FM-6, was put into orbit on Saturday by Russia’s Proton-M rocket, a spokesman for the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.
“Satellite Sirius FM-6 separated from the Briz-M upper stage at the designated time,” the spokesman said.
The launch of the US satellite, which took place on October 25, was originally scheduled for October 20, but was twice delayed on the request of the US space agency NASA because a US communications station in South Africa was not working properly.
Sirius FM-6 is a high-power geostationary satellite built by Space Systems/Loral for SiriusXM, America’s largest radio broadcaster by revenue and one of the world’s largest pure-play audio entertainment companies.
The six-ton satellite, which has a service life of 15 years, “will help with the delivery of commercial-free music and premier sports, news, talk, entertainment and Latin programming, traffic and weather to more than 25 million subscribers,” according to International Launch Services (ILS), the operator of Proton launches.
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Any response would likely boomerang on Russia – the partnership between Rosneft and ExxonMobil is a case in point. The United States has hit Russia with a third round of sanctions. This time the Americans went with a higher caliber weapon, targeting Russia’s biggest energy companies (Rosneft and Novatek) and banks (VEB and Gazprombank).