CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A GPS satellite for the U.S. Space Force has made its way into orbit after being launched Thursday from Florida's coast.
SpaceX was in charge of giving the "state-of-the-art technology" a boost from Earth on its Falcon 9 rocket. According to the commercial space agency, Thursday's rocket is the same that was used during a 2020 GPS III mission.
The engines roared to life to carry the satellite into space before separating and making its way back to Earth. The reusable rocket then managed to stick its landing on SpaceX droneship Just Read The Instructions.
Back in space, the latest GPS III satellite made its way into orbit to help support global signals and security from accidental transmissions or enemies.
If you missed all the action, don't worry. You can watch today's launch below:
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The U.S. Space Force will get a boost – literally – from SpaceX on Thursday as the commercial space company launches a GPS III-5 satellite.
Liftoff is set from 12:09 p.m. from Cape Canaveral's Launch Complex 40.
"This satellite is part of a next generation satellite constellation featuring upgraded, state-of-the-art technology," SpaceX tweeted.
SpaceX will reuse the same Falcon 9 first stage that supported a 2020 GPS III mission to carry the next satellite into space.
According to Lockheed Martin, the company that designed and built the satellite, each one launched will be compatible with international global navigation satellite systems. It's a capability the company says will maximizer a user's chance of "receiving a strong and accurate signal, whether in a natural valley or an urban canyon."
GPS III series satellites are also reportedly "harder to jam" via accidental transmissions or enemies.
You can catch all the action live at the Kennedy Space Center. Two viewing options for guests are still available and can be found here.
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