SiriusXM’s SXM 7 spacecraft, built by Maxar in Palo Alto, California, was lifted into space Sunday December 13, 2020 by a SpaceX Falcon-9 rocket. Another successful launch, for the partially reusable Falcon-9, surpassing the speed of sound in one minute and the first stage landing perfectly on the SpaceX’s drone ship “Read the Instructions” marking the booster’s, B1051, seventh trip into space and back.
The satellite extended its solar arrays and Maxar established contact with the vehicle shortly after release. “Next, SXM 7 will begin firing its thrusters to commence its journey to its final geostationary orbit,” Maxar said.
Its operational perch in geostationary orbit is more than 22,000 miles giving it a fixed view of the Americas 24 hours day, seven days a week. Once in place and working properly it will replace the XM 3 satellite launched in 2005. SiriusXM 7’s twin, SiriusXM 8 will be launched in 2021 extending the companies satellite broadcasting capabilities until 2036.