SpaceX to reattempt launch of first United States national security space mission


"The most important thing is that we get that rocket up safely and securely and it achieves its mission", said US Vice President Mike Pence, also Chairman of the US National Space Council.

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 SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, scheduled to launch a U.S. Air Force navigation satellite, sits on Launch Complex 40 after the launch was postponed.

It took five tries, working through technical issues, severe weather and even the pressure of a vice presidential visit until, finally, a rocket cut through clear skies Sunday on the way to space.

The GPS III satellite, to be deployed to medium Earth orbit, is created to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information. You have arrived at a new era for the Global Positioning System (GPS).

"The first GPS III launch marks a significant milestone for the GPS constellation as well as our partnership with SpaceX", said Col. Robert Bongiovi, Launch Enterprise director. The Air Force nicknamed the satellite "Vespucci" after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.

The GPS III satellite is a next-generation version satellite that will significantly aid the US Air Force in more precise geolocation services.

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The dispatch was initially booked for 2014 however has been limped by generation delays, the Air Force said.

GPS III SV01 will also have some company next year.

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

But it'll be a while before Vespucci, which was built by aerospace company Lockheed Martin, is fully up and running. The company stated that this very launch was the 21st as well as the final year of the launch.

The next launch attempt will be on Sunday at 8:51 a.m. EST/ 13:51 UTC, according to Space X officials.

This cargo is the first of the 32 satellites, constructed by Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force's GPS III programme. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin's existing modular GPS III, which was created to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs.