UPDATE at 1:30 pm ET: SpaceX has canceled today’s launch attempt for the Sirius XM SXM-7 satellite. The next launch opportunity is Sunday, December 13 at 7:13 am EST (1213 GMT).
CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida – Spacex he’s gearing up to launch his 25th rocket of the year today (Dec 11) as his Falcon 9 workhorse takes a satellite into space for Sirius XM and you can watch the action live online.
One of two stages Falcon 9 rocket The flight is scheduled to take off from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station here in Florida. Takeoff is expected during a two-hour window that opens at 11:21 a.m. EST (1621 GMT).
Atop the 70-meter-high launcher is the high-powered Sirius XM-7 (SXM-7) satellite built by Maxar technologies. It is one of two satellites SpaceX will launch as part of an effort to replace the outdated Sirius XM satellites currently in orbit.
You can watch the launch action live here and on the Space.com home page, courtesy of SpaceX, or you can watch directly from SpaceX here about 15 minutes before takeoff.
Related: See the evolution of SpaceX rockets in pictures
SpaceX has already had a banner year, as the private space flight company has launched two different astronaut missions to the International Space Station in the past six months, marking the first time a commercial company has done so.
The company is also celebrating its busiest launch year to date, with a record 24 flights and more launches yet to come. This flight will mark SpaceX’s 25th launch in 2020, breaking the previous record of 18 set in 2018.
After liftoff on Friday, the rocket’s first stage is expected to land on SpaceX’s “Just Read the Instructions” drone ship, which is waiting in the Atlantic. If successful, it will mark the 69th recall of a first-stage booster for the California-based rocket maker.
The rocket unveiled at Friday’s launch will be another record-breaking booster. Known as the B1051, this flight-tested propellant will embark on its seventh flight, the second in SpaceX’s fleet to do so. The first, B1049, carried a batch of 60 Starlink satellites into orbit on Nov. 24, before landing on the company’s other drone ship, “Of course I still love you.”
To date, the B1051 has brought an unmanned Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station as part of a 2019 test flight, followed by a trio of Earth-observing satellites for Canada, as well as four different Starlink missions. in 2020. For his seventh flight, he will carry a 15,432-pound flight. (7,000 kg) satellite in orbit for Sirius XM. The satellite will broadcast more than 8,000 watts of content to Sirius subscribers in the US, Canada and the Caribbean.
Currently, the weather is at 80% for the launch opportunity on Friday, and the only weather concerns are the potential for cumulus clouds over the launch site. There is a backup release time on Saturday if needed. However, the launch is dependent on the ULA Delta IV Heavy taking off as scheduled on Thursday.
If all goes according to plan, this will be the second launch in two days from Cape and the third from Florida this week. On Sunday (December 6), SpaceX launched a Enhanced Cargo Dragon spaceship for NASA, at 6,400 lbs. (2,902 kg) of research and supplies for the International Space Station.
This launch will also mark the 30th rocket to take off from Florida’s space coast this year.
Its payload, the SXM-7 satellite is based on Maxar Technologies‘SSL-1300 satellite bus. It is adorned with two large solar panels and batteries for storage in orbit. SXM-7 will operate in the S-band spectrum, between 2.32 GHz and 2.345 GHz and is part of a pair that SpaceX is launching for Sirius XM. The other, SXM-8, will be released next year. Each satellite has an operational lifespan of 15 years and will replace two aging satellites already in orbit.
SpaceX is expected to continue its tradition of bringing back the Falcon 9’s payload fairing, or nose cone, on Sunday’s flight. The company has two boats equipped with nets, called GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief – that you use to hook the fairings as they fall back to Earth in two pieces.
Each piece of the shell-like hardware, which costs approximately $ 6 million combined, is equipped with software that takes you to the recovery zone and a parachute system that allows them to land softly in the ocean or on GO’s extended network. Ms. Tree and Wow Mrs. Boss.
Ships can also pull the fairings out of the water, as taking a capture in the air is tricky and depends on a number of factors, including weather and winds. For this mission, GO Ms. Tree will be alone while Ms. Chief remains stationed in Port Canaveral.
The mission also marks the first time SpaceX has flown a fairing used on a non-Starlink mission. A piece of the vehicle’s protective cover was flown as part of the Anasis-II mission. who launched a communications satellite for the South Korean army in July.
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