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Countdown begins for second XM Satellite launch
Posted: Sun, May 6, 2001, 6:32 PM ET (2232 GMT)
Zenit-3SL launch The countdown began late Saturday for the launch this week of the second of two XM Satellite Radio spacecraft. The multinational Sea Launch consortium announced late Saturday that launch preparations had begun for the launch of the XM-1 "Roll" spacecraft on a Zenit 3SL from Sea Launch's mobile launch platform, positioned on the Equator in the Pacific Ocean southeast of Hawaii. Launch of the spacecraft is scheduled for 6:10 pm EDT (2210 GMT) Tuesday, May 8. The spacecraft will join XM-2, placed in geosynchronous orbit in March by Sea Launch. The two spacecraft will provide digital satellite radio broadcasts to subscribers in the United States later this year. XM-1 was scheduled for launch in January, but a last-second abort, triggered by a false alarm on the spacecraft, forced Sea Launch to bring the spacecraft and booster back to its home port of Long Beach, California for refurbishment.
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