Hawthorne, CA – SpaceX has just announced that it will be using a 10-engine configuration for its upcoming SXM-8 mission. This came as a huge surprise, as SpaceX would need to change their plumbing and engine integration techniques for Falcon 9 in this new configuration. When asked about why they made the decision, Bavid Dowie, Assistant Integration Engineer at SpaceX, says:
"We miscalculated the weight of the payload flying on this mission; initially we thought the payload weighed only about 2600 kilograms, however one of our engineers accidentally forgot to type an extra 0 at the end of the number, so the true mass is actually around 26000 kilograms. With this added weight, the only other option is to launch it on Falcon Heavy; however, we don't have the money and time for that. So, we just decided to put another engine to increase our TWR. Our droneship is also going to be positioned about 500 miles more downrange."
In a statement, Sirius XM said that they were "not happy" with the development, and that they will "continue to work with SpaceX on the issue." However, Sirius XM was glad that SpaceX did not charge extra for the extra engine integration. This will definitely be a launch to look out for.
Original photo credit: SpaceX