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SpaceX blasts new SiriusXM satellite into position

SXM-7 will transmit at 8,000 watts, the highest power of any commercial satellite in orbit.

SXM-7 will transmit at 8,000 watts, the highest power of any commercial satellite in orbit.

(Image courtesy Maxar Technologies/SiriusXM Pandora)

After a two day delay, SiriusXM Pandora’s newest satellite was blasted into orbit on Sunday.

The mission was carried out by California-based SpaceX, which used its Falcon 9 rocket to send the commercial satellite into space.

The satellite was due to launch on Friday, but the launch was scrubbed with 30 seconds left in the countdown. No reason was given for the delay, though some reported there was a concern about wind in the area.

All systems were go Sunday afternoon, and the satellite dubbed SXM-7 was finally deployed, its creator Maxar Technologies said in a press release.

The satellite will replace XM-3, which was launched by XM Satellite Radio in 2005. XM merged with competitor Sirius Satellite Radio to become SiriusXM in 2008.

SXM-7 is built to last 15 years, though it could provide service beyond that time frame. In addition to providing greater coverage and stability for SiriusXM’s namesake satellite radio service, the satellite will also offer datacast support for SiriusXM’s weather, traffic and navigation services.

The satellite will emit more than 8,000 watts of power — the strongest of any commercial satellite in orbit, Maxam said.

All three companies will get to do things all over again when another satellite, SXM-8, is deployed next month.

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Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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