Sci-tech

SpaceX successfully launches satellite for 1st national security mission

SpaceX successfully launches satellite for 1st national security mission

It would mark SpaceX's first so-called National Security Space mission, as defined by the U.S. military, SpaceX said.

Rocket Falcon 9 took form from Cape Canaveral at 8:51 a.m. whereas for schedules of the launch in the last week was canceled and delayed due to some serious reasons like those of the weather and technical issues.

The Sunday launch comes at the end of a full week of scrapped attempts, most of which were the result of unfavorable wind and weather conditions.

The network now features 31 operational satellites, which orbit about 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) above Earth.

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The spacecraft's life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than the newest Global Positioning System satellites on-orbit today.

In addition, "we're going to see an increase in power", Col. Steve Whitney, director of the SMC Global Positioning Systems Directorate, said in the December 14 telecon.

The next satellite is due to launch in mid-2019. Its Vice President for Navigation Systems, Jonathan Caldwell, said: "In the coming days, GPS III SV01 will use its liquid apogee engines to climb into its operational orbit about 12,550 miles above the earth".

The next year, SpaceX won an United States dollars 83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.

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The satellite is the first of 10 built by Lockheed Martin and has major improvements including a redesigned Nuclear Detonation Detection System and a search-and-rescue payload. The GPS III satellite, known as GPS 3 SV01 and nicknamed "Vespucci, will feature higher-power positioning, timing signals, and navigation around the world".

This morning's launch was originally scheduled to occur on Tuesday (Dec. 18), but SpaceX called off that attempt after receiving an "out of family" reading from sensors on the Falcon 9's first stage. The next will launch in the middle of next year. It is set to undertake another 4 GPS III missions.

Later on Sunday, Lockheed Martin, who built the satellite, confirmed the GPS III space vehicle had begun receiving and responding to commands.

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