Written by Aadhya Dhar as a volunteer for the New Delhi Space Society. Edited by Rudraneel Sinha
SiriusXM’s SXM-8 satellite was launched into orbit by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 12:26 a.m. EDT (4:26 UTC) on June 6, 2021.
The booster’s first stage returned to Earth, landing on one of SpaceX’s two drone ships called “Just Read The Instructions” stationed out in the Atlantic Ocean, roughly 9 minutes later.
A separate Falcon 9 rocketed out from Pad 39A at the adjacent Kennedy Space Center on Thursday afternoon, marking the second SpaceX launch in just three days from Florida’s space coast (June 3).
The satellite was built on Maxar’s 1300-CLASS PLATFORM and weighed over 7,000 kg during launch. The SXM-8 is meant to last for at least 15 years. SXM-8 will deploy its huge antenna reflector after it reaches orbit. SiriusXM programming will be able to reach mobile radios, such as those in moving vehicles, thanks to this reflector.
Due to leftover clouds from Saturday’s late-night storms, forecasters at the 45th Space Delta’s meteorological squadron forecasted only a 60% probability of acceptable launch conditions. Despite the bleak outlook, SpaceX managed to launch on schedule.
via nasaspaceflight.comvia tesmanian.com
The SXM 8 radio transmission satellite, built by Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, California, and owned by SiriusXM, is placed atop the rocket.
The SXM 8 spacecraft will use its onboard thrusters to push itself into a circular geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) above the equator after being launched from the upper stage of the Falcon 9 rocket in an elliptical transfer orbit after deployment.
The first launch for Sirius XM by SpaceX transpired in December 2020 with SXM-7.
The launch was successful, however, during on-orbit testing of the satellite due to a technical failure that occurred, later on, it was deemed unusable.