SpaceX launch scrubbed for fourth time; next try Sunday

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket sitting on Launch Complex 40 after its launch was postponed at Cape Canaveral Florida on Dec 18 2018

Space X rocket carrying USA military took off from Cape Canaveral from Florida on Sunday making the first-ever transportation of the security space transportation of the United States successful.

The successful launch is a significant victory for Elon Musk's privately held rocket company, which has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co.

The company didn't bring its Falcon 9 rocket booster back in for a landing due to the Air Force's mission requirements.

"There simply was not a performance reserve to meet our requirements and allow for this mission to bring the first stage back", Walter Lauderdale, mission director at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) Launch Enterprise Systems Directorate, said during a prelaunch call with reporters on December 14.

SpaceX was initially planning a total of 22 launches this year, thus missing its target by a very small margin.

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The network now features 31 operational satellites, which orbit about 12,550 miles (20,200 kilometers) above Earth.

A series of six deployments will occur approximately 13-43 minutes after liftoff, after which Spaceflight will begin to command its own deployment sequences. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than any of the Global Positioning System satellites on-orbit today.

SpaceX is already under contract to launch four more GPS III missions. It is three times more accurate than the previous system and up to eight times stronger in its anti-jamming capability. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin's existing modular GPS III, which was created to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs.

The following GPS III satellite is because of dispatch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder stated, while consequent satellites experience testing in the organization's Colorado preparing office. 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. However, the Air Force's work on the ground-based systems that is mandatory to operate it is still in progress, according to the Verge.

This cargo is the first of the 32 satellites, constructed by Lockheed Martin for the US Air Force's GPS III programme.

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