A brilliant new SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday successfully launched the last military satellite into space for the US Space Force.
Elon Musk’s missile company has finally launched the third-generation military GPS satellite after a series of earlier delays. Initially it wasbut then he was rejected for a few days. It approached takeoff on October 2, but the launch was halted with only two seconds to count down.
The unexpected problem led to some other delays, most notably asend four astronauts to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, worried that the problem might arise on other Merlin engines.
An investigation revealed that some “masking paint” had blocked a relief valve line, causing two of the rocket’s nine Merlin engines to attempt firing early. Suspicious engines have been replaced and new launch dates have been set.
Now the GPS III Space Vehicle 04 is in orbit. The first stage booster used in the launch landed on the droneship Of Course I Still Love You in the Atlantic Ocean less than nine minutes after takeoff. It is set to make its second flight on another GPS satellite mission in 2021.
The company is also expected to attempt to recover fairing halves or nose halves using different vessels.
SpaceX’s next launch should be the aforementionedfor NASA. The take-off is set for November 14th.