Elon Musk’s SpaceX intends to launch a SiriusXM communications satellite from Florida on Sunday, the first such mission since one of the radio company’s spacecraft crashed after launch in December.
The satellite, known as SXM-8, is set to launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 12:25 a.m. EDT.
Showers and cumulus clouds are among the weather hazards at that time, according to a Space Force projection, which predicts a 40% likelihood of weather-related delays. If weather delays the launch, SpaceX may try again around the same time on Monday.
According to the business, the satellite would help in the distribution of Sirius XM’s entertainment and data services to 34 million members.
The spacecraft, which weighs more than 15,400 pounds, has a massive antenna and solar panels that extend 100 feet when unfolded. It was created and tested in Maxar Technologies’ facility in Palo Alto, California.
The reflector allows SiriusXM programming to reach mobile radios, such as those in moving vehicles, the company said in a news release.
A malfunction of the company’s previous satellite, SXM-7, led to the total loss of the spacecraft after SpaceX successfully launched it. SiriusXM reported the malfunction in January, but said the loss wouldn’t affect its service because it has multiple satellites.
The company did not respond on Friday to requests for comment on the new launch.
In April, SiriusXM reported to the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission that SXM-7 is not recoverable and it added a loss of $220 million to its books.
The lost spacecraft was insured for $225 million, the company said.
“We … expect to file an insurance claim in the second quarter of 2021. At this time, we are unable to reliably estimate the amount of insurance recoveries,” according to the SEC filing.
Sirius XM service comes installed in new vehicles from every major automaker in the United States and is available in nearly half of the preowned vehicles for sale in the country, according to the company.