The climate was favorable, all methods have been go. After every week of delays, SpaceX on Sunday lastly launched a satellite tv for pc that may kick off a brand new period for GPS navigation expertise.
At simply earlier than 6 a.m. PT, SpaceX tweeted merely “Liftoff!” and the Falcon 9 rocket was on its manner.
The rocket was carrying the US Air Power’s GPS III SV01 satellite tv for pc, the primary in sequence of recent satellites that may replace the World Positioning System. Nonetheless used and maintained by the Air Power, the array of GPS satellites has change into part of the on a regular basis cloth of life for almost everybody. It is within the palm of your hand, for example, everytime you get instructions to a retailer or restaurant in your smartphone.
The GPS III system is designed to be extra correct than the present expertise whereas being higher in a position to withstand jamming. It is also prone to have an extended life span.
Two hours after the launch, the satellite tv for pc separated from the rocket and started its unbiased orbit.
Shortly after that, Lockheed Martin, the protection contractor that constructed SV01, stated that floor management was in communication with the satellite tv for pc, although it isn’t operational simply but. First it has to achieve an orbit of about 12,550 miles, at which level its photo voltaic arrays and antennas can be set in place and indicators testing will start.
“That is the Air Power’s first GPS III, so we’re excited to start on-orbit take a look at and display its capabilities,” Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vp for navigation methods, stated in an announcement. “By this time subsequent yr, we anticipate to even have a second GPS III on orbit and customers needs to be receiving indicators from this primary satellite tv for pc.”
Launch dates for the mission had come and gone with some regularity. They’d been set for September and October after which once more for this month. In simply the final week, SpaceX had been able to go on a number of events, solely todue to technical points (Tuesday and Wednesday) and uncooperative climate (Thursday and Saturday).
In distinction with different current Falcon 9 launches, SpaceX will not try to get well the primary stage of the rocket.
SV01 is the primary of what may ultimately be practically two dozen GPS III satellites from Lockheed Martin.
SpaceX did not instantly reply to a request for additional remark.
First revealed at 7:48 a.m. PT.
Up to date 10:06 a.m. PT: Added info from Lockheed Martin and background particulars.
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