Sirius XM's newest satellite tv for pc, constructed by Maxar and launched by SpaceX, has failed in orbit

The SXM-7 satellite built by Maxar Technologies for SiriusXM can be seen here at the Maxar manufacturing facility in Palo Alto, California.


A recently launched Sirius XM satellite suffered "failures" during preliminary tests in space, the company said in a securities application filed on Wednesday. The cause of the malfunction was not disclosed.

"Events occurred during the in-orbit testing of SXM-7 that resulted in the failure of certain SXM-7 payload units. An assessment of SXM-7 is ongoing. The full extent of the damage to SXM-7 is not yet in progress known." Sirius XM said on the file.

Maxar Technologies built the satellite, which SpaceX then launched in December. The satellite supports Sirius XM's digital satellite radio network with a designated coverage area in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.

A Sirius XM spokesperson told CNBC that the cause of the failure was not related to the SpaceX launch of the satellite. The spokesman said Sirius XM was able to communicate with and maintain control of the satellite. Sirius XM declined to comment on whether SXM-7 will be recoverable.

"SXM-7 should complement the existing fleet of SiriusXM satellites," Sirius XM said in a statement. "Construction of our SXM-8 satellite is underway and this satellite is expected to be launched into geostationary orbit later this year."

Sirius XM's stocks were up as much as 24% earlier in the day but then gave up most of the gains, up around 7% in midday trading. Maxar's stock was down as much as 8% from the previous close.

SpaceX declined CNBC's requests for comment.

SpaceX launched the SXM-7 satellite on a Falcon 9 rocket on Jan. 4, with Sirius-XM beginning testing the satellite in orbit. The Company does not expect current satellite broadcast service to be affected as the XM-3 and XM-4 satellites are functioning normally and the XM-5 satellite is in orbit as a replacement.

Maxar said in its own file on Wednesday that it is helping Sirius XM "troubleshoot and diagnose the situation in order to assess the extent of damage to the SXM-7 satellite."

"We are working closely with Sirius XM to diagnose the problem and assess possible damage to the satellite and its mission. We continue to focus on safely completing the commissioning of the satellite and optimizing its performance," a Maxar spokesman told CNBC in a statement.

Sirius XM has $ 225 million in total insurance for the SXM-7 that covers the satellite through launch and its first year of operation in space.

"We have notified insurers under these guidelines of a possible claim related to SXM-7," said Sirius XM.

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch Sirius XM's SXM-7 satellite in December 2020.


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