A SpaceX rocket conveying a US military route satellite launched from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Sunday, denoting the space transportation organization's first national security space mission for the United States.
The rocket, which was carrying a satellite worth roughly $500m (£393.7m) built by Lockheed Martin, blasted off from Florida just before 2pm GMT.
Hawthorne-based SpaceX Sunday successfully launched a U.S. Air Force GPS satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral in Florida, after postponing several planned launches over the past few days due to weather and other issues. The success of the attempt of the launch of the security space mission gave a significant victory for Elon Musk and the whole company as a whole who spent years to break into the market which quite appeared to be dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co.
SpaceX said that the GPS III, "is designed and built to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information with three times better accuracy, and up to eight times improved antijamming capability".
The next satellite is due to launch in mid-2019. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than any of the Global Positioning System satellites on-orbit today.
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The program wasn't affected by the government shutdown . "Because at 7, it's marginal, right?" "Okay Merry Christmas, Timmy". NORAD, a joint effort of the United States and Canada, has been monitoring Santa's reindeer-powered movements since 1955.
It would mark SpaceX's first so-called National Security Space mission, as defined by the USA military, SpaceX said.
The Air Force said that the launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays.
On Sept. 26, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.4 billion contract for support to start up the program and to contract the 11 and 12 GPS III satellite. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin's existing modular GPS III, which was created to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs.
The company managed to fly its Falcon Heavy rocket for the first time in February, and its Falcon 9 launches went off well throughout the year.
This launch is SpaceX's final of the year, marking a record-number of annual launches for the company.