SpaceX launched the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a US military navigation satellite marking the company’s 21st launch for this year and its first national security space mission for the United States.
Blasting off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Sunday, the Falcon 9 rocket carried the Global Positioning System (GPS) III space vehicle satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp worth approximately $500 million (about Rs 3,500 crore).
Successful deployment of GPS III SV01 to medium Earth orbit confirmed. pic.twitter.com/4lhJpwdsip
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) December 23, 2018
The launch sent the satellite, nicknamed Vespucci, into space to join the Air Force’s constellation of operational 31 GPS satellites.
SpaceX won the NSS contract with the Air Force in 2016 and is scheduled to launch four additional missions on Falcon 9.
The new-gen GPS satellites will provide three- times better accuracy than the current systems and will be eight- times better at anti- jamming.