SpaceX completed its busiest year so far with the successful deployment of the first GPS III satellite, named Vespucci, today. This was SpaceX’s 21st launch of the year and 72nd overall. The launch was delayed due to a sensor issue and then weather but was able to get off the ground today.
This was the first competitively won US National Security contracted launch carrying the next generation Global Position Satellite (GPS) III satellite to orbit.
Due to customer requirements, this was an expendable launch on a brand new block 5 booster, meaning that the after successful state separation the booster fell back to earth and splashed down in the ocean.
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