SpaceX delivers SiriusXM 7 satellite to orbit

Space Coast, FL – On December 13, 2020 at 1230 EST (1730 UTC) a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket lifted off for SiriusXM-7. This marked the 25th launch by SpaceX this year. SpaceX is currently shooting for 48 launches in 1 year. Which, they will have to attempt again next year.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lift off - SXM7
Falcon 9 B1051.7 lifts off from SLC-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA | photo: Jon Van Horne

The mission was delayed by 2 days from a ground systems issue on December 11, 2020. Over the next 24-48 hours SpaceX teams had corrected the issue. They then had a successful launch and deployment of the satellite.

SiriusXM 7

The SiriusXM 7 satellite, developed by Maxar, will provide continuous, reliable delivery of SiriusXM’s audio entertainment and information services to consumers in the United States. It will expand SiriusXM’s coverage area in Canada and the Caribbean for years to come. SXM-7 will deliver the highest power density of any commercial satellite on-orbit, sending more than 8,000 watts of content to the continental U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, increasing the power and reach of the signal for SiriusXM.

Falcon 9 and firey flame
SpaceX Falcon 9 delivering SXM-7 to orbit | photo: Jon Van Horne

Falcon 9

This mission marked the seventh flight of this Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster, which previously supported launch of Crew Dragon’s first flight to the International Space Station (Demo-1), launch of the RADARSAT Constellation Mission, and four Starlink missions in 2020. Following stage separation, SpaceX landed Falcon 9’s first stage on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, which was located in the Atlantic Ocean. One half of Falcon 9’s fairing previously supported the ANASIS-II mission in July 2020.

Remote camera captures the lift off of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 B1051.7 | photo: Crystal Gabriel

We are coming to a close this year of rocket launches as SpaceX only has, currently, 1 left. The NROL-108 mission slated for this Thursday, December 17, 2020. The launch window is currently from 0900-1200 EST (1400-1700 UTC).

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