Published: Thu, December 27, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

SpaceX halts launch of US military satellite due to winds

SpaceX halts launch of US military satellite due to winds

The company's first national security launch posed some challenges this week as SpaceX dealt with a multitude of issues while trying to launch a major Global Positioning System satellite for the Air Force from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's launch pad 40.

After a week of delayed launch attempts, SpaceX finally completed its first USA national security space mission.

Later on Sunday, Lockheed Martin, who built the satellite, confirmed the GPS III space vehicle had begun receiving and responding to commands.

It would have marked SpaceX's first so-called National Security Space mission, as defined by the US military, SpaceX said.

The launch, SpaceX's fourth attempt in a week after technical and weather delays, would have been the rocket firm's first national security space mission for the United States. GPS III is created to provide three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities.

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SpaceX was initially scheduled to launch on Tuesday, while Vice President looked on from Kennedy Space Center. "By this time next year, we expect to also have a second GPS III on orbit and users should be receiving signals from this first satellite".

The launch was the company's 21st launch this year and its first Pentagon-sanctioned national security mission.

The solar-powered Vespucci will provide a number of advantages over the old-guard satellites, Air Force officials said. GPS III's new L1C civil signal will also make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other worldwide global navigation satellite systems, like Europe's Galileo, improving connectivity for civilian users.

This newest generation of GPS satellites is designed and built to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information. Lockheed Martin is building the new satellites outside Denver. The launch had been rescheduled earlier in the week because of the weather.

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