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SpaceX launches Air Force’s newest GPS satellite

SpaceX launches Air Force’s newest GPS satellite

Technology
SpaceX has launched the military's newest, most accurate GPS satelliteBy MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace WriterJune 30, 2020, 9:12 PM1 min read1 min read SpaceX launched the military’s newest, most accurate GPS satellite Tuesday after a two-month delay due to the pandemic. A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, carrying the GPS satellite to orbit. The brand new first-stage booster landed on an ocean platform several minutes later, to be recycled for future use. The launch originally was scheduled for April, but the newly organized U.S. Space Force delayed it to keep staff healthy and safe during the coronavirus outbreak. This is the third in the most advanced line of GPS satellites, and joins a constellation of 31 GPS spacecraft in orbit, according to the
SpaceX plans to launch next-generation GPS satellite from Florida

SpaceX plans to launch next-generation GPS satellite from Florida

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., June 30 (UPI) -- Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to launch the U.S. Air Force's third next-generation navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System from Florida on Tuesday. A Falcon 9 rocket is to lift off at 3:55 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Launch Complex 40. The Air Force delayed the launch from April due to health concerns for the launch crews amid the coronavirus pandemic. Advertisement "We have to get it right the first time, and protecting our people is just as important as cost, schedule, and performance," Gen. John F. Thompson, commander of the Air Force's Space and Missiles Systems Center, said in a statement about the delay. The weather at launch time is predicted to by 60 percent favorable, according to Air Force meteorologists. A heavy clo...
SpaceX scrubs Starlink launch with two BlackSky satellites

SpaceX scrubs Starlink launch with two BlackSky satellites

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., June 26 (UPI) -- SpaceX scrubbed Friday's plan to launch additional Starlink satellites in a mission that had another paying customer on board -- what SpaceX calls its ride-share program. The change in plans was not weather-related. Advertisement "Standing down from today's Starlink mission; team needed additional time for pre-launch checkouts, but Falcon 9 and the satellites are healthy. Will announce new target launch date once confirmed on the Range," SpaceX said in a tweet. A Falcon 9 rocket was set to lift off from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center in Florida, carrying 57 Starlink communications satellites for Elon Musk's SpaceX, along with two small Earth observation satellites for Seattle-based BlackSky Global. SpaceX also postponed the launch Thursday, but...
SpaceX plans launch to boost Starlink network to nearly 600

SpaceX plans launch to boost Starlink network to nearly 600

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., June 25 (UPI) -- Some internet users will get to test SpaceX's Starlink satellite broadband service soon, as the company prepares another launch in Florida on Thursday that would boost the number of its communications spacecraft in orbit to almost 600. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying about 60 of them is scheduled to lift off Thursday at 4:39 p.m. from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center. The flight also will carry two very small Earth observation satellites for Seattle-based BlackSky Global. Advertisement An outlook for isolated storms Thursday means a 40 percent likelihood of cancellation because of heavy cloud cover and the threat of lightning, according to the U.S. Air Force forecast. A backup launch time would be Friday, also with a 40 percent chance of weather...
SpaceX launches 58 Starlink, 3 SkySat satellites from Florida

SpaceX launches 58 Starlink, 3 SkySat satellites from Florida

Science
June 13 (UPI) -- SpaceX has expanded the company's historic Starlink constellation by launching 58 more satellites from Florida on Saturday morning. The payload lifted off on time aboard a Falcon 9 rocket at 5:21 a.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, which is adjacent to Kennedy Space Center. Advertisement The launch was the ninth regular Starlink mission, boosting the number of those communications satellites in orbit to 538 -- the most ever for any such constellation. Starting with the next cluster launch planned for June 22, SpaceX intends to put sunshades on all the Starlink satellites as part of the company's effort to make them less visible from the ground. Astronomers and other sky gazers have complained that bright reflections from the satellites can ruin observations o...