Maxar’s recently launched SiriusXM satellite fails in orbit

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Maxar’s recently launched SiriusXM satellite fails in orbit

WESTMINSTER — Maxar Technologies Inc.’s (NYSE: MAXR) Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq:SIRI) satellite failed in orbit this week, according to regulatory disclosures filed by both firms.

The SXM-7, a high-powered digital audio radio satellite, was launched in December on a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rocket and during testing this month, “events occurred which have caused failures of certain SXM-7 payload units,” Sirius wrote in a U.S. Department of Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “An evaluation of SXM-7 is underway. The full extent of the damage to SXM-7 is not yet known.”

The SXM-7 launched in December aboard a SpaceX rocket. Courtesy Maxar.

In its SEC filing, Maxar described the satellite as being damaged but does not specifically say the craft failed in orbit. 

“We are currently assisting Sirius XM in troubleshooting and diagnosing the situation to evaluate the extent of the damage to the SXM-7 satellite and to focus on safely completing the commissioning of the satellite and optimizing its performance,” Maxar said. 

According to Sirius XM, the satellite failure is not expected to impact listeners.

“Our XM-3 and XM-4 satellites continue to operate and are expected to support our satellite radio service for several years,” the company said. “In addition, our XM-5 satellite remains available as an in-orbit spare. Construction of our SXM-8 satellite is underway and that satellite is expected to be launched into a geostationary orbit this year.”

Maxar’s disclosure noted that its contract with Sirius XM “include industry-standard provisions regarding, among other things, transfer of risk of loss upon launch.”

Prior to launch, Sirius XM “purchased insurance policies covering SXM-7 through launch and the first year of in-orbit operation,” according to the regulatory filing. “The aggregate coverage under those insurance policies is $225 million. We have notified the underwriters of these policies of a potential claim with respect to SXM-7.”

The SXM-7 is not the first time in recent years a Maxar satellite suffered a major malfunction.

In early 2019, the company lost its WorldView-4 satellite when its control moment gyros failed. The incident resulted in millions of dollars in lost revenue and Maxar posted a $59 million loss for that quarter.

© 2021 BizWest Media LLC 

WESTMINSTER — Maxar Technologies Inc.’s (NYSE: MAXR) Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq:SIRI) satellite failed in orbit this week, according to regulatory disclosures filed by both firms.

The SXM-7, a high-powered digital audio radio satellite, was launched in December on a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. rocket and during testing this month, “events occurred which have caused failures of certain SXM-7 payload units,” Sirius wrote in a U.S. Department of Securities and Exchange Commission filing. “An evaluation of SXM-7 is underway. The full extent of the damage to SXM-7 is not yet known.”

The SXM-7 launched in December aboard a SpaceX rocket. Courtesy Maxar.

In its SEC filing, Maxar described the satellite as being damaged but does not specifically say the craft failed in orbit. 

“We are currently assisting Sirius XM in troubleshooting and diagnosing the situation to evaluate the extent of the damage to the SXM-7 satellite and to focus on safely completing the commissioning of the satellite and optimizing its performance,” Maxar said. 

According to Sirius XM, the satellite failure is not expected to impact listeners.

“Our XM-3 and XM-4 satellites continue to operate and are expected to support our satellite radio service for several years,” the company said. “In addition, our XM-5 satellite remains available as an in-orbit spare. Construction of our SXM-8 satellite is underway and that satellite is expected to be launched into a geostationary orbit this year.”

Maxar’s disclosure noted that its contract with…

 

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