SpaceX launched a satellite into its transfer orbit on June 6th for US pay-radio broadcaster SiriusXM.
The launch, SpaceX’s 18th so far this year, placed the 7500 lbs SiriusXM SXM-8 satellite into a transfer orbit with a lift-off just after midnight at 12.26am EDT (4.26 UTC) from Cape Canaveral.
The success follows on from an in-orbit failure of a previous craft (SXM-7) which suffered problems last December and has subsequently been declared unusable. SiriusXM will receive an insurance pay-out for the failure.
Following the launch and separation of the Falcon 9 booster – which was making its third flight – the booster carried out its now familiar ‘flip’ and made a perfect landing on the floating barge, ‘Just Read The Instructions’ waiting for its cargo some 400 miles downrange.
The new satellite will replace one of the early SiriusXM satellites (XM-3 or XM-4, called Rhythm and Blues upon launch). This new satellite, built by Maxar Technologies, has a design life of at least 15 years.