SpaceX aborts Sirius XM satellite launch, will try again tomorrow

SpaceX intended to launch a new satellite into orbit for Sirius XM satellite radio on Friday, December 11. At less than a minute to go, the launch was stopped to give controllers an opportunity for additional system checks. SpaceX was 30 seconds away from launching its Falcon 9 rocket at 12:55 PM EST at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.The rocket sat on its pad at Space Launch Complex 40, and its payload is the SXM-7 satellite for Sirius XM. SpaceX tweeted the launch was stood down to allow additional ground systems checkouts. The team is working towards a second launch no earlier than Sunday, December 13. If weather and systems hold out, the launch will go off at 7:13 AM EST on Sunday.

The SXM-7 satellite is a large one weighing in at 15,432 pounds. The satellite is intended to provide satellite radio services to subscribers across the US, Canada, and the Caribbean. The Falcon 9 rocket used for the launch will be making its seventh journey into space.

Interestingly, the same rocket is the one that launched an uncrewed Crew Dragon test flight for NASA last year. The same Falcon 9 also launched a Radarsat constellation for Canada in 2019 and performed a quartet of Starlink launches this year. While seven launches sounds like a lot for a single Falcon 9, Sunday's launch will mark the second time a Falcon 9 has made seven trips into space.

Recently, SpaceX made news with the successful high-altitude launch of its Starship spacecraft. However, the landing didn't go as planned, with the spacecraft exploding. SpaceX says the flight was a success despite the crash. The loss of the Starship prototype certainly isn't the first time the company has lost rockets during testing.