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XM Satellite Down?

By       Message John R Moffett     Permalink
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XM Satellite Down (Noon Monday May 21st)

XM users around the country are reporting service outage. No word from XM yet as to the problem. Could it be a satellite problem?

Discuss at

Update 12:27EDT: XM diagnostics report that there is no signal coming from XM satellite #1, but that satellite #2 is still functioning.

XM launched new, more powerful satellites in 2005 (“Rhythm”) and 2006 (“Blues”), keeping the older 2 satellites (“Rock” and “Roll”) as backup.

The apparent loss of one of the newer satellites, if that turns out to be the problem, is very bad news for XM indeed.

Update 2 (1:27pm EDT):

One user at said they finally got a service rep on the phone, who said that XM was doing a "software update" on the satellite. They said that reception should be back in a couple of hours.

Sounds a little "fishy" for mid-day on a Monday. 

Other customers say they have been told on the phone that it might be a couple days before they can get things back online. That suggests they may have to switch back to one of the older satellites.

Still no word in the press, or at XM's web site, on the problems.


Here is an old news article on problems with the original XM satellite solar panels from 2002, and how they may degrade early:

Scrambled signals for XM Satellite (C\Net

By Tiffany Kary
Staff Writer
Published: June 18, 2002, 10:30 AM PDT

update Wall Street is getting scrambled signals about XM Satellite Radio, as analysts debate whether defects in the digital radio broadcaster's satellites will be bad for business.

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John R. Moffett PhD is a research neuroscientist in the Washington, DC area. Dr. Moffett's main area of research focuses on the brain metabolite N-acetylaspartate, and an associated genetic disorder known as Canavan disease.

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