SpaceX Successfully Launches Next Version GPS Satellite For U.S. Airforce

9 rocket scheduled to launch a U.S. Air Force navigation satellite sits on Launch Complex 40 after the launch was postponed after an abort procedure was triggered by the onboard flight computer at Cape Canaveral

9 rocket scheduled to launch a U.S. Air Force navigation satellite sits on Launch Complex 40 after the launch was postponed after an abort procedure was triggered by the onboard flight computer at Cape Canaveral

Elon Musk's SpaceX capped a record-setting year on Sunday when it launched a rocket carrying a new GPS III satellite for the US Air Force, after delaying the mission several times because of a technical issue involving its rocket sensors and bad weather.

A SpaceX rocket carrying a US military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Sunday, marking the space transportation company's first national security space mission for the United States.

WASHINGTON-SpaceX launched a new breed of Global Positioning System satellite for the United States Military on Sunday, marking the private space company's first contracted mission for the country's national security.

Per the Guardian, Lockheed is producing a total of 32 GPS III satellites for the Air Force in a contract worth $18 billion - with this launch originally scheduled for 2014. This marks the US-based aerospace company's first USA national security mission to date. The GPS III satellite, known as GPS 3 SV01 and nicknamed "Vespucci, will feature higher-power positioning, timing signals, and navigation around the world".

Because of mission requirements, SpaceX did not attempt to retrieve the reusable Falcon 9's first stage after launch, according to SpaceX. GPS III has three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities.




The launch of this Falcon 9 was the last scheduled for this year.

GPS III's new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other worldwide global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo, improving connectivity for civilian users. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin's existing modular GPS III, which was created to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs. Lockheed Martin is building the new satellites outside Denver.

And again on Thursday, when severe weather and a tornado watch halted the launch.

The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility.

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