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Digital radio satellite launched from sea

A file photo of the Sea Launch platform
A file photo of the Sea Launch platform  

(CNN) -- A communications satellite designed to improve radio signals was settling into geostationary orbit on Monday, the day after it roared into space from a launch pad in the Pacific Ocean.

A three-stage rocket lifted off from the Sea Launch platform on the equator at about 5:33 p.m. EST on Sunday, carrying a digital audio broadcasting satellite.

The Boeing-built satellite is the first of two orbiters that will comprise XM Satellite Radio, an orbiting network that will offer news and entertainment channels -- including some CNN programming -- to subscribers in the United States. The sibling spacecraft should launch in May.

"All phases of the mission profile performed as expected," said a spokesperson for Sea Launch, a Washington, DC-based company that sends satellites into space from its launch facility more than 1,000 miles south of Hawaii.

The five-ton craft should settle into its final geostationary orbit within days, he said.



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RELATED SITE:
Sea Launch Home Page

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