Sunday, 20 January, 2019


New generation of Global Positioning System satellites launching

Elon Musk's SpaceX To Try US National Security Spy Satellite Launch Again SpaceX And Blue Origin To Launch Rockets Within Minutes Of Each Other Tuesday Morning
Kristine Garrett | 21 December, 2018, 13:16

Surrounded by four lightning suppression system towers, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket stands at Space Launch Complex-40 on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida in May 2012.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to attend.

SpaceX had a Falcon 9 rocket set poised and ready (with the Vice-President of the United States watching from nearby) to launch but an "out of family" sensor reading on the rocket's first stage prompted mission managers to call of today's (Dec. 18, 2018) attempt to send the GPS SV01 (Vespucci) navigational satellite.

Launch window opens at 9:07 a.m. ET.

But it was developed by the US military, which still designs, launches and operates the system. The launch window is from 9:11 to 9:37 Tuesday morning.

Compared with their predecessors, GPS III satellites will have a stronger military signal that's harder to jam - an improvement that became more urgent after Norway accused Russian Federation of disrupting GPS signals during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military exercise this fall. The company hopes to move forward with both on Wednesday, December 19, and that means you still have a chance to watch them take off live.

Before the scheduled launch time on Tuesday NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine tweeted about the launch. The Air Force controls a constellation of 31 Global Positioning System satellites from a high-security complex at Schriever Air Force Base outside Colorado Springs. And Arianespace said weather conditions forced it to delay a mission in French Guiana.

Originally, today, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace, and ULA were supposed to launch their respective rockets. It's the most cyber secure space system in the U.S. Department of Defense.

Blue Origin, one of America's other top private space companies, had also planned to send a rocket but delayed its flight due to issues with the rocket's ground infrastructure. UPDATE: This launch was scheduled for Tuesday night, but was scrubbed due to high ground-level winds at the launch site. Tuesday's mission marks the culmination of years of political and legal maneuvering to break into the national security launch market.

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