EDITOR’S NOTE: Updated Nov. 5 for new launch attempt.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral on Nov. 5 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 6:24 p.m. EST Thursday, Nov. 5, at the opening of a 15-minute launch window.
The Lockheed Martin-built GPS 3 SV04 satellite mounted atop the rocket is the fourth 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.
The timeline below outlines the launch sequence for the Falcon 9 flight with the GPS 3 SV04 spacecraft.
The U.S. Air Force on Monday certified the latest version of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, featuring higher-thrust engines, enlarged fuel tanks and a super-chilled propellant mixture, for launches of the military’s most valuable satellites.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Wednesday carrying NOAA’s Deep Space Climate Observatory, the world’s most distant weather satellite heading for a point a million miles from Earth. Launch from Cape Canaveral occurred at 6:03 p.m. EST (2303 GMT).
SpaceX’s second Falcon Heavy rocket lifted off Thursday with the Arabsat 6A communications satellite. The world’s most powerful operational launcher lifted off from pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT), and its three first stage boosters landed less than 10 minutes later — two back at Cape Canaveral and one on a drone ship at sea.