Russia is preparing a Proton-M carrier rocket for the launch of the U.S. Sirius FM-6 telecoms satellite, Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said on Thursday.
“The launch is tentatively scheduled for February 2012,” Roscosmos said.
The assembly of the upper stage of the rocket and the testing of a Briz-M booster is being carried out at the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan.
The Sirius FM-6 mission was originally expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, then it was consequently postponed to late December 2011 and then later to January 24 and January 29, 2012.
The Sirius FM-6, built by Space Systems/Loral (SS/L) for Sirius Satellite Radio, is a new, high-power satellite designed to operate in a highly inclined elliptical orbit (HIEO). This satellite will be the sixth SS/L-built spacecraft in the Sirius fleet.