In a 15 minute window for lift-off, SpaceX is planning to launch a new GPS satellite for the United States’s Space Force on Thursday, June 17. The launch is scheduled at 12:09 PM EDT (09:39 PM IST) from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. It would be the first time when a US military satellite will ride a used SpaceX booster. Keep reading to learn more details about the GPS satellite launch through Falcon 9 rocket.
US Space Force GPS Satellite Launch
The rocket launch from Florida would place GPS III 5 in the orbit. It is 5th in the current generation of GPS satellites and would not only be used by the military but also other navigation applications such as Google Maps and Uber. According to US Space Force, the GPS III 5 satellite is a part of an advanced satellite constellation that facilitate a more secure signal for communication by military forces and is nicknamed Neil Armstrong. Additionally, the satellite would be placed about 12,550 miles above the surface of the earth. The satellite is made by Lockheed Martin and will provide better location measurements.
The satellite is onboard a Falcon 9 rocket, one among SpaceX’s fleet of reusable rockets. As stated earlier, it would be the first time when US military equipment would be carried to orbit in a reused rocket. In the future, this could save a lot of resources. The US military has been working for a long time to certify reused rockets, as the launches are crucial for national security. However, Space Force and SpaceX have revised their contracts, which saved tax-payers a whopping $64 million.
At the time of rocket launch, 45th Weather Squadron has predicted 70% favourable weather conditions. However, Space Force is also considering the possibility of isolated showers and storms. If the launch is cancelled due to unfavourable weather conditions or delayed, a backup launch is scheduled for Friday, June 18 at 12:05 PM EDT (09:39 PM IST). Before this, a launch in 2019 was done using two reused side boosters and combining three Falcon 9 cores. According to SpaceX, rockets from Falcon 9 family have been launched over 100 times.
IMAGE: SPACEX YOUTUBE
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