SpaceX is launching an advanced GPS satellite for the US Space Force today. Here’s how to watch. – Space.com

SpaceX is launching an advanced GPS satellite for the US Space Force today. Here’s how to watch. – Space.com

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A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III SV03 navigation satellite for the U.S. Contrivance Force stands atop its launch pad at Contrivance Open Complex 40 of the Cape Canaveral Air Force Reputation sooner than a deliberate June 30, 2020 launch.
(Image: © SpaceX)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX is gearing as much as launch a Falcon 9 rocket this day, June 30, to convey an upgraded world positioning satellite (GPS) into orbit for the U.S. Contrivance Force and that it is possible you’ll explore it stay on-line. The flight, the California-based rocket builder’s 11th launch this 300 and sixty five days, is scheduled to blast off from Contrivance Open Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Reputation in Florida in some unspecified time in the future of a 15-minute window that opens at 3: 55 p.m. (1955 GMT). You would possibly well also explore the launch stay right here and on the Contrivance.com homepage, courtesy of SpaceX, starting about 15 minutes sooner than liftoff. You are going to additionally present you with the choice to explore the launch straight faraway from SpaceX right here. Linked: The U.S. GPS satellite network explainedThis is SpaceX’s third launch this month and the third launch of an upgraded next-expertise GPS III satellite to this point. The first launched on a particular Falcon 9 rocket in December 2018, whereas the second launched atop the final Delta IV Medium in August 2019. SpaceX has secured the next couple of launches as the defense power works to upgrade the aging network. Built by Lockheed Martin, the unusual batch of satellites are basically the most powerful ever made, on tale of onboard anti-jamming capabilities and unusual expertise that can manufacture signals which is liable to be thrice more appropriate and as much as eight times more powerful than outdated iterations. In stark contrast to the Starlink launches earlier this month, which featured ancient Falcon 9 boosters, a vivid unusual Falcon 9 is the star of this day’s mission — a requirement space by the Air Force. The booster, dubbed B1060, will carry an evolved world positioning satellite into orbit to replace an aging satellite that used to be launched 20 years ago. Linked: China launches closing Beidou satellite for GPS-love navigation systemImage 1 of 4(Image credit: SpaceX)Image 2 of 4(Image credit: SpaceX)Image 3 of 4(Image credit: SpaceX)Image 4 of 4(Image credit: SpaceX)This mission is SpaceX’s first for the U.S. Contrivance Force, beneath the goal no longer too long ago established U.S. Contrivance Force, which used to be signed into existence by President Donald Trump in December 2019. The Contrivance Force will characteristic beneath the Division of the Air Force, and would possibly possibly oversee all location operations.The mission additionally marks the major time the corporate will strive to launch and land a booster as section of a nationwide security launch. In some unspecified time in the future of the final GPS III mission in 2018, SpaceX flew its Falcon 9 in an expendable configuration — without grid fins or landing legs — and did no longer enhance the major stage adore it on the entire does. Nonetheless the corporate got approval from the Contrivance Force to enhance the major stage. To that halt, SpaceX’s drone ship True Read the Instructions departed Port Canaveral over the weekend prematurely of its deliberate restoration strive. The ship is stationed 394 miles (634 kilometers) down vary within the Atlantic Ocean, looking forward to the Falcon 9’s first stage because it returns to Earth approximately 8 minutes after liftoff. This present day’s launch comes factual days after SpaceX needed to face down from what would had been its third Starlink flight this month. That mission featured a used of SpaceX’s swiftly of gently ancient Falcon rockets. The booster would had been the corporate’s third to waft five times. Alternatively, the corporate postponed the launch citing the necessity for additonal pre-flight sorting out. That mission used to be space to loft 57 net-beaming satellites to support bear SpaceX’s megaconstellation known as Starlink, alongside with two Earth-watching satellites for BlackSky. The flight used to be section of SpaceX’s unusual rideshare program, which used to be kicked off on June 13 when 58 Starlink satellites were launched with a trio of cramped satellites for the Earth-imaging company Planet. The weather for this day’s launch looks promising, as meteorologists predict a 60% likelihood of favorable stipulations at liftoff. It is summer season in Florida and which suggests afternoon thunderstorms will be a pickle. In step with weather officers, basically the major concerns are storm clouds, which get the means for producing lightning — a launch hazard.SpaceX’s two fairing catchers, GO Ms. Tree and GO Ms. Chief, are stationed out within the restoration zone. It is unclear if SpaceX will strive to get rid of the fairings as they tumble abet to Earth, or if they’ll factual scoop up them up after they land within the water. The company has been a hit in its attempts to reuse more of the rocket. The rocket’s nostril cone, additionally assuredly known as a payload fairing, accounts for roughly 10% of the price of the rocket. By reusing them, SpaceX would possibly well assign as great as $6 million per flight.  Observe Amy Thompson on Twitter @astrogingersnap. Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom or Fb.

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