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SpaceX scrubs SiriusXM satellite launch from Florida

An artist's concept shows Sirius XM's latest broadcasting satellite, SXM-7, in space with extended solar arrays and broadcast antenna. Image courtesy of Sirius XM
An artist's concept shows Sirius XM's latest broadcasting satellite, SXM-7, in space with extended solar arrays and broadcast antenna. Image courtesy of Sirius XM

ORLANDO, Fla., Dec. 11 (UPI) -- SpaceX scrubbed the launch of a radio communications satellite for SiriusXM less than a minute from liftoff Friday from Florida.

The company didn't say immediately what caused the halt, which occurred 30 seconds before the Falcon 9 rocket was to lift off at 12:55 p.m. EST from Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. Another attempt is expected Sunday morning.

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SpaceX had moved the launch time back on Friday at least twice and engineers had been monitoring high-altitude winds for potential problems.

The satellite, SXM-7, is to aid delivery of SiriusXM's entertainment and data services to more than 100 million subscribers in North America, according to the company.

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"Following ... the launch, the [satellite] will join five other satellites in SiriusXM's active satellite fleet," Kate Tice, a SpaceX senior engineer, said during a live broadcast. "After joining the fleet, there's an expectation that it will replace the XM-3 satellite."

The XM-3 was launched in March 2005.

The launch is to be the 25th SpaceX launch of 2020 and the seventh launch for the reusable first-stage booster.

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The satellite includes a large antenna and solar arrays that span 100 feet when unfurled, weighing in total more than 15,400 pounds. Built by Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, Calif., it is designed to provide service for 15 years or longer.

SiriusXM 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.

SiriusXM and its streaming app, Pandora, reach 150 million people per month, the company said.

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Maxar has built all seven of SiriusXM's satellites, including the first spacecraft that were launched in 2000.

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Support teams work around the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience spacecraft shortly after it landed with NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Victor Glover and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi aboard in the Gulf of Mexico off Panama City, Fla., on Sunday. Photo by Bill Ingalls/NASA | License Photo

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