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SpaceX closes in 2018 with the first national security start for the US government



SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket with the US Air Force's GPS III payload aboard an earlier, delayed launch attempt on December 1
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Photo: John Raoux (AP)

Elon Musk's SpaceX Launches Its First National Security The US Government (especially the Air Force) payload on Sunday, when a Lockheed Martin GPS satellite worth The Guardian reports that the launch of a Falcon 9 rocket was delivered from Cape Canaveral at 8:51 am (CET), according to the Guardian. The launch itself was delayed several times in the last week – once when the Falcon's first stage 9-rocket showed unexpected sensor readings, and twice in bad weather, according to Space.com. The Verge wrote that the launch was successful in order to avoid further delays caused by the government's continuing showdown, as funds were already made available to the Ministry of Defense in 2019.

Launched Sunday, SpaceX (Vespucci) GPS-III satellite is a next-generation version. This will ultimately help provide significantly more accurate geolocation services, although the Air Force, as Verge wrote, is still in favor of the Operation required ground systems works:

The payload of SpaceX is the GPS III SV01, the first of ten revised GPS III satellites that wants to launch the Air Force. It is planned to join the current Air Force GPS configuration in orbit, and when the new system is fully operational, it is expected to be three times more accurate than the GPS we are now using. However, this will not happen for a few years because the Air Force is still working on the ground control system needed to control this next generation of navigation.

The GPS III satellite will also have a stronger transmitter to prevent signal jamming

The first stage of the Falcon 9 in question did not attempt to land again, as the payload was too high and too high into orbit for the rocket could meet the performance requirements in its reusable configuration.

"There simply was no power reserve to meet our requirements and allow this mission to bring back the first leg," said Walter Lauderdale, mission director at the Launch Enterprise Systems Directorate of the Air Force. according to Space.com. However, he added that future GPS III missions may include attempts to restore the first level, depending on the flight results of the Sunday mission.

Lockheed will produce a total of 32 Air Force GPS III satellites in a $ 12.6 billion contract with Guardian – this launch was originally scheduled for 2014. The next one will be launched in the middle of next year.

[The Guardian]


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