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Billionaire Elon Musk's Spaceion is scheduled to launch a long-delayed US military navigation satellite on Saturday, which would be, if successful, the rocket company's first national security mission for the United States.
A Falcon 9 rocket carrying about a rocket. A $ 500 million GPS satellite was built to launch at Cape Canaveral in Florida at 9 am (1400 GMT), SpaceX said.
A Successful Start – SpaceX's Fourth Try in One Week Following Technical and Weather Delays – This would be a significant victory for Musk's rocket company, which has been trying for years to penetrate the lucrative military space launch market, which has long been Lockheed and Boeing Co.
is dominated. SpaceX sued the US Air Force in 2014 in protest against the military awarding a non-competitive contract worth 36 billion missiles to United Launch Alliance, a partnership between Boeing and Lockheed. The lawsuit was dropped in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open the contest.
Next year, SpaceX won a $ 83 million air force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.
The launch would be the first of 32 satellites that Lockheed produced on behalf of Air Force GPS III with a total volume of 12.6 billion US dollars, said Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder.
Air Force spokesman William Russell said: "Once fully operational The latest generation of GPS satellites will provide users with new features, including three times the accuracy and up to eight-fold anti-interference capabilities."
The launch was originally for Scheduled in 2014, however, was hampered by production delays of the Air Force said.
This would be SpaceX's first ever "National Security Space" mission, as defined by the US military, SpaceX said.
The next GPS III satellite is scheduled to go live in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites are being tested at the company's processing plant in Colorado.
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