SpaceX and the US are getting along famously. Elon Musk’s company is gearing up to launch a military GPS satellite from Florida on Friday. This follows a . The launch is scheduled for a 15-minute window that opens at 6:43 p.m. PT, with the weather forecast 70% favorable for liftoff.
SpaceX is hosting a livestream of the launch. The company will attempt to land the Falcon 9’s first stage on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. The spacecraft is scheduled to deploy about 90 minutes after liftoff.
The GPS III Space Vehicle (SV) 04 is the fourth in a series of GPS satellites operated by the US Space Force, the newest branch of the military. It’ll join a larger satellite constellation already in orbit.
It’s been a busy week for rocket launches that haven’t actually launched. SpaceX was scheduled to send a new batch of Starlink communications satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 on Thursday, but that technical issue stopped the most recent attempt.. on Wednesday with a classified spy satellite, but a
The postponed Starlink launch combined with the Space Force mission made for a nifty photo opportunity. SpaceX shared a view on Twitter earlier this week of the two Falcon 9s on their separate launch pads.
We’ll see if SpaceX can escort the GPS mission into orbit as planned. As we’ve seen this week, delays are common.