The FALCON 9 rocket from SpaceX sent the next generation of the GBS to orbit today for the US Air Force, registering two of the first – plus another.
It is the first spacecraft to reach space, marking the beginning of a transition that doubles the accuracy of the GPS and enhances its ability to resist interference up to eight times.
It is also the first official launch of SpaceX to carry national air force security under the expendable launch program. After a year-long process, SpaceX filed a lawsuit against the federal government (and finally reached a settlement).
The latest "21" was the launch of SpaceX in 2018, setting a new record for the California-based company (last year saw 18 best previous offers).
Delay has been delayed four Times Over the the past a week, Due to unacceptable weather and a problem with sensor readings from the rocket. But when the countdown at the Cape Canaveral Air Force came to zero at 8:51 am (5:51 am PST), the Falcon 9 rocket went smoothly into the clear Florida sky.
The closure of the partial government had no effect whatsoever, because the Ministry of Defense was fully funded through previous legislation. However, some viewing areas around Cape have been closed.
Due to the difficult path required for the GPS III orbit, SpaceX did not provide any plans to restore the first phase booster, and did not attempt to process it with landing or steering fins. After the separation phase, the booster went back down to a submachine gun in the Atlantic Ocean.
Meanwhile, the second stage revived the Van Vucci satellite, in honor of the Italian explorer Ameriigo Vespucci, towards an Earth orbit. (America is something else called Vespucci.)
The planned height of Vespucci is 12,550 miles. Once the satellite stabilizes, it will increase the current constellation of the 31 older generation satellites, which provide location data for applications ranging from US military operations to smartphones. More than 4 billion people around the world use GPS data in one way or another.
The GPS III satellite is also designed to be compatible with other navigational satellite systems, such as the Galileo constellation in Europe.
From now on, the Air Force will rely on SpaceX as well as its main rival, the United Launch Alliance, to send nine other GPS satellites to orbit over the next five years.
The year 2018 was a big year for SpaceX, which was highlighted by the first launch of the heavy-duty Falcon Heavy 3-cylinder heavy-duty Falcon 9 booster and the first Falcon 9 booster. 2019 promises to be larger, with an agenda including the first launch of a spacecraft of the Dragon Space Force to the International Space Station.
Next year is also expected to bring the first short-range flight tests for SpaceX (formerly known as BFR), a refueling vehicle that plays the leading role in billionaire Elon Musk's plans to send people around the moon and beyond to Mars.