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.
This concludes another record breaking year for SpaceX which saw the launch of the Falcon Heavy, 21 launches, 13 landings, third flight of a single booster core, most payloads on a single launch (for any US carrier) and progress on the Crew Dragon schedule to launch in the new year.
SpaceX completed another important milestone with the successful launch of the U.S. Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle 5 (OTV-5) today. Despite the weather showing only a 50% chance that it would cooperate SpaceX was able to lift off at 10:00 am EDT.
Due to the secrecy of the launch, SpaceX only showed the launch until stage separation and the landing of the stage.
This was SpaceX’s 13th launch of 2017 and 10th landing.
We are not sure at this time if there will be further updates from SpaceX or USAF on the status of the X-37B, if they are posted we will update the article.