SpaceX calls off Sirius XM satellite launch at last minute


SpaceX called off the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a new Sirius XM satellite on Friday (Dec. 11), halting the flight at the last minute for extra system checks. 

The Falcon 9 rocket was 30 seconds away from lifting off at 12:55 p.m. EST (1755 GMT) from Space Launch Complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida when SpaceX stopped the launch. The rocket is carrying the SXM-7 satellite for Sirius XM.

“Standing down from today’s launch attempt to perform additional ground system checkouts; teams are working toward no earlier than Sunday, December 13 for next launch attempt of SXM-7,” SpaceX wrote in an update on Twitter. A Sunday launch attempt would lift off at 7:13 a.m. EST (1213 GMT). 

You’ll be able to watch that launch action live here and on the Space.com homepage, courtesy of SpaceX. You can also watch directly from SpaceX here about 15 minutes before liftoff.  

Related: See the evolution of SpaceX’s rockets in pictures 

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Sirius XM satellite SXM-7 is seen atop Space Launch Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida after a launch delay on Dec. 11, 2020. (Image credit: SpaceX)

SpaceX is launching the SXM-7 satellite for satellite radio provider Sirius XM on this mission. SXM-7 is a 15,432-lb. (7,000 kilograms) radio communications satellite designed to serve Sirius subscribers across the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.

The Falcon 9 rocket for this mission is a veteran SpaceX booster making its 7th launch into space. It previously launched an uncrewed Crew Dragon test flight for NASA in 2019, the Radarsat constellation for Canada later that year, and then four  Starlink satellite internet missions in 2020. 

The SMX-7 mission will mark the second time SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 for the seventh time.

Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him on Twitter @tariqjmalik. Follow us on @Spacedotcom and Facebook and Instagram.

Source: space.com

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