A Falcon 9 lit up the skies over Florida early Sunday morning as it launched the SXM-8 spacecraft for SiriusXM satellite radio. The booster lifted off at 12:26 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
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 unfurled its large antenna reflector. This reflector will allow SiriusXM programming to reach mobile radios, such as those in moving vehicles.
Following stage separation, Falcon 9’s first stage landed on the “Just Read the Instructions” droneship, located in the Atlantic Ocean. This was the third launch and landing of this Falcon 9 first stage booster, which previously launched NASA astronauts on the Crew-1 and Crew-2 missions to the International Space Station.