From its equatorial launch site at 154 degrees West Longitude, a Zenit-3SL vehicle lifted the 4703 kg (about 10,368 lb.) XM-3 satellite to an optimized perigee geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO), on its way to a final orbital position at 85 degrees West Longitude. Like its sister spacecraft, XM-1 and XM-2, XM-3 will transmit more than 150 channels of digital-quality music, news, sports, talk, comedy and children’s programming to subscribers across the continental United States.

XM-3 is the tenth Boeing 702 manufactured by Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif. The Boeing 702, the most powerful satellite built today, provides government and commercial customers with 18 kilowatts of total power at beginning of life. Boeing Satellite Systems is the world’s leading manufacturer of government and commercial communications satellites. Boeing Satellite Systems’ manufacturing and process initiatives were validated in 2004 with the Software Engineering Institute’s Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Level 5 certification and Aerospace Standards (AS) 9100 certification.

XM Satellite Radio is America’s leading satellite radio service. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City and Nashville at the Country Music Hall of Fame, XM Radio broadcasts more than 150 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: 68 one-hundred-percent commercial-free music channels, featuring hip hop to opera, classical to country, bluegrass to blues; more than 40 channels of premier sports, talk, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and 21 channels of the most advanced traffic and weather information for major metropolitan areas nationwide.