Smithsonian Collections

Satellite, Communications, Sirius FM-4

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Data Source
National Air and Space Museum
Summary
This satellite represents the first generation of space-based, commercial radio service developed by Sirius Radio, a U.S. company (now Sirius XM Radio). Designed in 1987 and initiating service in 2001, the Sirius satellite system consisted of three satellites that provided more than 150 digital music and audio channels to North America. Their inclined geosynchronous orbits were a distinctive design feature that enabled clear radio reception over the entire country.
This FM-4 spacecraft was built as a flight-ready backup for the system but never used. The round antenna on the side of the spacecraft transmits radio signals to the ground. The solar panels are stowed as if for launch. Fully opened in orbit, they would span more than 24 meters (78 feet).
Sirius XM Radio and Space System Loral donated the satellite to the Museum in 2012.
Manufacturer
Space Systems/Loral
Credit Line
Gift of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and Space Systems/Loral, Inc.
Materials
Aluminum, copper, carbon fiber, mylar, plastic
Dimensions
Overall [main antenna in stowed position]: 508 x 228.6 x 292.1cm, 1320kg, 591.8cm (16 ft. 8 in. x 90 in. x 115 in., 2910lb., 19 ft. 5 in.) With main antenna unstowed, depth: 591.8cm (19 ft. 5 in.)
Type
SPACECRAFT-Unmanned-Communications
See more items in
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Hangar
James S. McDonnell Space Hangar
Inventory Number
A20130001000
Country of Origin
United States of America
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply