SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday carrying the U.S. Air Force’s next GPS 3-series navigation satellite destined for an orbit more than 12,000 miles above Earth.
The 229-foot-tall (70-meter) rocket is poised for launch from pad 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:55:48 p.m. EDT (1955:48 GMT) Tuesday at the opening of a 15-minute launch window.
The Lockheed Martin-built GPS 3 SV03 satellite mounted atop the rocket is the third member of an upgraded generation of GPS navigation spacecraft, featuring higher-power signals that are more resilient to jamming, and additional broadcast frequencies to make the GPS network more interoperable with other navigation satellite fleets.
Unlike SpaceX’s previous launch of a GPS payload in 2018, the mission will fly a slightly different profile to reserve fuel for landing of the Falcon 9 booster. Read our mission preview story for more information.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with the GPS 3 SV03 spacecraft.
The world’s most distant weather outpost is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Sunday aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, launching to a point a million miles from Earth to warn forecasters of solar storms that could disrupt global air traffic, satellite navigation and power grids.
A month after an X-37B mini-space shuttle glided to a landing on Kennedy Space Center’s runway in Florida, the U.S. Air Force announced Tuesday that the spaceplane’s next mission will launch in August aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket for the first time.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket took off from Cape Canaveral on Aug. 8 with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, the second launch from Florida’s Coast in a span of less than 35 hours.