[Update: Launched] Sirius XM to get updated satellite launched by SpaceX

SpaceX will launch a new Sirius XM satellite into Geostationary Transfer Orbit that will provide satellite radio to their customers. The launch SXM-8 comes after SXM-7, which was launched back in January, failed after being inserted into the correct orbit. While a replacement for that satellite is needed, this satellite will replace the aging XM-4 satellite which was launched back in 2006 and provides coverage for most of North America.

Date: Sunday, June 6th, 12:26 a.m. EDT

Rocket: SpaceX Falcon 9 (B1061-3)

Launch Pad: SLC-40, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Geostationary Transfer Orbit

Landing Site: ASDS Just Read The Instructions, Atlantic Ocean

The Rocket

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is the workhorse of commercial launches into Earth orbit. The partially reusable rocket is powered by 9 Merlin engines on the first stage and a single vacuum optimized Merlin on the second stage. The Falcon 9 has launched a total of 120 times with a 98% success rate, making it a highly trusted vehicle among the commercial, scientific, and defense sectors.

The Booster

B1061 is a very special booster, launching both of SpaceX’s operation missions for the Commercial Crew Program. This will be the booster’s third launch and first non-crewed launch. It is expected to launch and land on the SpaceX droneship Just Read The Instructions out in the Atlantic Ocean.

SpaceX launch weather

While the weather seemed rough for CRS-21’s launch, it seemed to calm down a bit for tonight’s early morning/late evening launch. The current report from Space Launch Delta 45 shows a 70% probability of good weather of the launch with the only concern being debris and anvil clouds rules.

For the backup date we are looking at increased probability of 80% for good weather and the concerns change to cumulus and debris clouds rules. When it comes to additional risks for the launch, we aren’t seeing any concerns which is great for booster recovery.

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