Vice President Mike Pence was at the Cape for the launch Tuesday and announced President Donald Trump's plans to order the creation of a new military Space Command.
GPS III SV01, known as "Vespucci", in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer for whom the Americas were named, is now ready to be rolled out to its pad at Space Launch Complex-40, where it will be mated with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
The GPS satellite launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays, the Air Force said.
In 2016, SpaceX won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.
The new satellites are expected to provide location information that's three times more accurate than the current satellites.
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This will be the first Global Positioning System satellite launch for SpaceX. They are created to be more accurate, secure and versatile than predecessors.
As reported, the launch of the rocket with the satellite was scheduled for December 18. It later dropped the lawsuit after the Air Force agreed to open up the competition. "The U.S. Space Command will integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military, it will develop the space doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures that will enable our war fighters to defend our nation in this new era". On Tuesday, a ground equipment issue forced Blue Origin to call off the attempted suborbital launch of its New Shepard spacecraft from West Texas.
SpaceX might not be happy they had to cancel their two planned launches on Tuesday, but that's good news for everyone else.
ULA's Delta IV Heavy launch is still on the books for later today, and if successful, could mark the start of a fantastic day of rocket launches.
"It's still to be determined, but I think the more we recognize the importance of space as a domain in national security, the more likely it is that that seriousness will lend itself to more launches, more satellites, more activity here on the coast", Ketchum added. SpaceX then tweeted on Wednesday morning that the rocket is still having sensor issues.