On the 23rd of December, 2018, SpaceX had successfully launched Vespucci from Cape Canaveral. The nickname given to the Unites States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite is Vespucci.
The company considered this as its first US national mission till date.
More information regarding SpaceX’s Vespucci launch –
SpaceX won the National Security Space (NSS) contract with the Air Force in 2016 and intends to launch an additional four GPS III missions on Falcon 9. The company considers this as a two-stage rocket manufactured.
The GPS was built during the Cold War and owned by the U.S. military. Since the mid-2000s, it has been used for commercial purposes.
The new GPS satellites, built by Lockheed Martin, will provide three-time better accuracy than the current system of GPS, and will be eight times better at anti-jamming, according to SpaceX.
SpaceX completed 21 launches in 2018, up from 18 last year, in what’s been a banner year for the company. Founded in 2002 by Elon Musk, it’s also said to be raising $500 million at a valuation of $30.5 billion to help fund its Starlink internet service project, which will see the company launching 11,000 satellites to improve internet connectivity around the globe. The new round of capital would bring its total raised to date to more than $2.5 billion.
More Insight –
The company’s words –
The company wrote the following on their site –
“SpaceX is targeting Saturday, December 22 for launch of the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle (SV) from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The 26-minute launch window opens at 8:55 a.m. EST, or 13:55 UTC. The satellite will be deployed to medium Earth orbit approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff.
A 26-minute backup launch window opens on Sunday, December 23 at 8:51 a.m. EST, or 13:51 UTC.
Due to mission requirements, SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9’s first stage after launch.
The United States’ Global Positioning System delivers positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, and underpins critical financial, transportation, and agricultural infrastructure that billions of users have come to depend on daily.
The United States Air Force’s first GPS III satellite will augment the current constellation of 31 operational GPS satellites. This newest generation of GPS satellites is designed and built to deliver positioning, navigation, and timing information with three times better accuracy, and up to eight times improved antijamming capability. GPS is used by over four billion users and supports critical missions worldwide.
GPS is a National Security Space (NSS) mission, critical to national defense. In April 2016, SpaceX was awarded its first NSS mission, GPS III SV01. SpaceX currently has an additional four GPS III missions on contract, all of which will be launched on Falcon 9.”
To have a look at the rocket launch which was a live stream earlier, you can just click here.
Source – TechCrunch.