Falcon 9 to launch SXM-8

  • Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 B1061.3
  • Mission: SXM-8 (SiriusXM-8 Satellite)
  • Date / Time: Sunday, June 6, 2021, launch window from 0425-0626 UTC (0025-0226 EST)
  • Launch Site: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, USA

Launch Vehicle:

The Falcon 9 B1061.3 rocket booster has been reused 2 other times prior to this mission. They are; Crew-1 and Crew-2.

Mission Overview:

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will launch the SXM 8 satellite for SiriusXM. The satellite will replenish SiriusXM’s fleet providing satellite radio programming to consumers across North America. SXM 8 was built by Maxar Technologies, and features a large unfurlable S-band reflector to broadcast radio signals to users on the ground. 

Maxar-built SXM-8 is positioned in full-flight configuration at Maxar’s manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California | photo: MAXAR/SiriusXM

Payload

The satellite, which weighs almost 7,000 kg during launch, is built on Maxar’s 1300-CLASS PLATFORM. SXM-8 is designed to provide service for 15 years or longer. Once on orbit, SXM-8 will unfurl its large antenna reflector, visualized in yellow in the rendering below. This reflector will allow SiriusXM programming to reach mobile radios, such as those in moving vehicles.

Fully deployed SiriusXM-7 satellite, illustration
The SXM-8 satellite how it will appear in space when fully deployed | Illustration: MAXAR

“Maxar and SiriusXM have a decades-long relationship, and we’re thrilled to deliver the ninth satellite we’ve built for them since 2000, SXM-8, built on Maxar’s proven 1300-class bus, is more than twice as big and powerful as the first-generation SiriusXM constellation built by Maxar.”

- Paul Estey, Maxar’s EVP, Space Programs Delivery

Launch Trajectory

Launch Trajectory of the Falcon 9 rocket booster and landing area for the SXM-8 mission | screenshot from Flight Club

Launch Site

Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40), previously Launch Complex 40 (LC-40) is a launch pad for rockets located at the north end of Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.

The launch pad was used by the United States Air Force for 55 Titan III and Titan IV launches between 1965 and 2005. After 2007, the US Air Force leased the complex to SpaceX to launch the Falcon 9 rocket. As of November 2020, there have been 60 launches of the Falcon 9 from the complex. The site was heavily damaged following the September 2016 Amos-6 incident, due to a catastrophic failure during a static fire test. The complex was repaired and returned to operational status in December 2017 for the CRS-13 mission.

Bird eye view of SLC-40 on Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida, USA
Bird eye view of SLC-40 at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA | image: Google Earth

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