Swedish Communications Satellite Reaches Orbit

Swedish Communications Satellite Reaches Orbit
The Sirius 4 telecommunications satellite launches spaceward atop a Russian Proton M rocket at 5:39 p.m. EST (2239 GMT) on Nov. 17, 2007. (Image credit: SES Sirius.)

A newSwedish telecommunications satellite roared into space Saturday, riding aRussian-built rocket successfully into orbit.

The Sirius4 satellite launchedspaceward atop a Proton M booster at 5:39 p.m. EST (2239 GMT) from theCentral Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Built byLockheed Martin for the Solna, Sweden-based communications provider SES Sirius,the Sirius 4 satellite will provide direct-to-home television and otherservices to customers across Europe, Africa and the Baltic/Nordic region.

"Weare very proud and satisfied that the Sirius 4 mission has been asuccess," said Hakan Sjodin, managing director of SES Sirius, in astatement. "Sirius 4 will benefit our customers and extend our coverageand service in Eastern Europe.?

Weighing inat 9,667 pounds (4,385 kilograms), the Sirius 4 satellite carries 53 activeKu-band transponders, two active KA-band transponders and designed for a15-year service lifetime. The McLean, Va.-based launch service providerInternational Launch Services (ILS) oversaw the satellite?s Saturday launch.

"Thiswas an especially important mission for ILS and our customer, SES SIRIUS,"said ILS president Frank McKenna in a statement. "ILS and our partner,Khrunichev, continue to focus on performance and on our long-term relationshipwith the SES group of companies."

Sirius 4?s liftoffmarked ILS? fourth Proton launch of the year and its 43rd mission using theRussian-built booster. It also marked the secondsuccessful Proton flight since a faulty cable foiledthe launch of a Japanese satellite on Sept. 5.

After launch,Sirius 4?s Breeze M upper stage guided the spacecraft on a nine-hour and13-minute trip to send it toward its final geostationary orbit 22,236 miles(35,786 kilometers) above Earth. The successful launch marked the 329th flightof a Proton rocket.


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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.