Sirius XM, a digital radio satellite, recently aced a nighttime landing at sea after SpaceX launched Falcon 9 rocket into space on Sunday, June 6.
SpaceX decided to launch a veteran rocket named Falcon 9 for its third trip to space this Sunday. When it returned, it successfully brought back Sirius XM, a vast radio satellite located in the Earth’s orbit.
Falcon 9 is a two-stage rocket, and it blasted off at exactly 12:26 AM EDT, traveling from Space Launch Complex 40 towards Cape Canaveral Space Force Station to mark the company’s 18th launch for 2021. Falcon 9 contained SXM-8 Digital Radio Satellite into the Earth’s orbit for Sirius XM.
Approximately nine minutes after launching, Earth successfully welcomed the booster’s first stage as it landed on one of SpaceX’s drone ships known as “Just Read the Instructions,” located in the Atlantic Ocean.
The launch happened just at the beginning of a nearly two-hour window time.
Falcon 9: Touchdown
According to Space.com, SpaceX’s Jessie Anderson announced that Falcon 9 already touched-down during their launch webcast. The event is a celebration of the 87th triumphant return of an orbital class rocket into the Earth’s premises.
This particular mission is the second SpaceX launch in three days because a different Falcon 9 also blasted off right from PAD 39A, located just a few minutes in the nearby Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, June 3.
Its task mainly involved delivering 7,300-lbs of Science supplies, gear, and equipment.
At first, forecasters from the 45th Space Delta’s weather team only predicted about a 60% chance for Falcon 9’s good launch, primarily because of residual clouds at the time of launch brought about by the recent storm.
However, SpaceX successfully launched the rocket on time despite the perceived outlook.
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At the time of launch, the smoky cloud layer provided beautiful visuals. The sky suddenly had an orange iridescent glow as Falcon 9 emerged through the cloud layers, going towards orbit.
For this particular mission, the 230-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket aced its delivery of a high-powered radio broadcasting satellite — the Sirius XM-8 (SXM-8) right into orbit.
Maxar Technologies built Falcon 9 for Sirius XM, and it is one of the two available devices that will replace outdated satellites currently in orbit.
You may watch Falcon 9’s launch here:
Sirius XM’s Landing
The site also stated that this is Falcon 9’s third flight, and that it changed up its cargo, carrying 7,000-kg of satellite into orbit for Sirius XM.
The said satellite will beam over 8,000 watts of content towards Sirius subscribers all across Canada, the U.S., and the Caribbean.
This is the second satellite that SpaceX launched for Sirius. The first launch involved SXM-7 back in December 2020.
Falcon 9’s flight to orbit marks the second launch in June, with at least two more launches by the end of the month. SpaceX revealed that one of their upcoming missions would launch a newly updated GPS III satellite to cater to the U.S. Space Force.
Related Article: SpaceX: Upcoming Falcon Heavy Rocket Launches to be Delayed to Accommodate Payload Readiness
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Written by Fran Sanders
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