SpaceX launches 64 small satellites in single mission

The satellite's launch was initially planned for Tuesday, but failed due to technical issues. The next generation "GPS III" satellite finally soared into space on Sunday on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, from Cape Canaveral at 8:51 a.m. ET, according to a report.

The very next year Musk's company secured an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite.

Thus, Elon Musk made it the first ever mission of security for U.S. government. However, he added that future GPS III missions may feature attempts to recover the first stage, depending on flight results from Sunday's mission.

The company used a Falcon 9 Block 5 rocket for the launch.

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 GPS III satellite, to be deployed to medium Earth orbit, is created to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information.

The launch of this Falcon 9 was the last scheduled for this year. The new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other worldwide global navigation satellite systems, like the European Union's Galileo system.

In September, the Air Force selected Lockheed Martin for the GPS III Follow On (GPS IIIF) program, an estimated $7.2 billion opportunity to build up to 22 additional GPS IIIF satellites with additional capabilities. For example, the new satellite will deliver PNT information three times more accurate than that of now operational Global Positioning System craft.

This was SpaceX's 21st launch of the year, up from a record 18 in 2017. It's the first in a series and nicknamed Vespucci after the 15th-century Italian explorer who calculated Earth's circumference to within 80 kilometres.

Bad weather forced the fourth cancellation of a SpaceX launch Saturday from Florida, with the next liftoff scheduled for Sunday.


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