Pay-radio operator SiriusXM is already planning and developing its next-generation SXM-10 satellite. The US broadcaster has received $140 million insurance compensation for the failure of SXM-7 and is owed a further $85 million in insurance.
The ‘twin’ satellite to SXM-7, SXM-8, is performing well in orbit and without any apparent complications. SiriusXM has another satellite under development – SXM-9 – being built by Maxar Technologies.
SXM-7 was declared a total loss back in February some 6 weeks after it suffered problems with its communications systems.
SXM-7 is in a stabilised orbit at 115.3 degrees, and there are suggestions that it is a near-perfect candidate for an in-orbit rescue mission. Ownership of the satellite will shift to its insurers once the final compensation payment is made.
There is no threat to SiriusXM’s operations. It is still using XM-3 and XM-4 satellites which are good for “several years” and the XM-5 satellite is available as an in-orbit spare.
However, it is not clear how SXM-10, its ‘next generation’ craft, will be different from that of SXM-7 or 8.