SpaceX to launch new SiriusXM satellite on Friday

SiriusXM will launch its seventh orbital satellite on Friday in partnership with private space company SpaceX.

The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite, dubbed SXM-7, will take place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, with liftoff scheduled around 12:55 p.m. Eastern Time.

The new satellite launching on Friday will help provide better coverage to the company’s 100 million satellite subscribers, the company said. In addition to its radio service, SiriusXM also provides weather, traffic and navigation data services for automobiles, boats and aircraft.

The satellite was built by Maxar Technologies, a Colorado-based technology firm that has constructed the radio company’s other six geostationary satellites. It weighs over 15,400 pounds and is built to provide satellite services for at least 15 years.

The SXM-7 satellite replaces XM-3, which was put into orbit by XM Satellite Radio in March 2005. XM merged with Sirius Satellite Radio in 2008. Another satellite, SXM-8, is scheduled to launch in late January 2021 and will replace XM-4.

SpaceX will live-stream the launch of the Falcon 9 rocket and deployment of the SXM-7 satellite on its YouTube channel Friday.

In addition to its satellite radio and data services, SiriusXM Pandora also operates the popular streaming music service Pandora and podcast platform Stitcher. Features from both services were integrated this year into SiriusXM’s companion streaming radio app.