SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set to take off from Cape Canaveral early Sunday. It headed east over the Atlantic Ocean to launch the SXM 8 radio satellite into orbit about 32 minutes later.
The 229-foot (70 m) rocket was ready for launch from Pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida during an hour 59 minute launch at 12:26 a.m. EDT (0426 GMT) Sunday.
Atop the rocket is the SXM 8 radio broadcasting satellite, a spacecraft manufactured by Maxar Technologies in Palo Alto, Calif. and owned by SiriusXM.
After deploying from the top stage of the Falcon 9 rocket in an elliptical orbit, the SXM 8 spacecraft will use its onboard thrusters to propel itself into a spherical geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) above the equator.
The SXM 8 from Maxar̵
7;s 1300 Series satellite bus will provide radio programming to SiriusXM subscribers across North America.
The Falcon 9’s first booster, set to load SXM 8, has two previous flights, both of which were Crew Dragon missions carrying astronauts to the International Space Station.
The timeline below shows the launch sequence for a Falcon 9 flight with SXM 8.