Science

SpaceX launches first U.S. national security space mission

SpaceX launches first U.S. national security space mission

The satellite's launch was initially planned for Tuesday, but failed due to technical issues.

The mission was SpaceX's first national security mission.

The satellite is one in a series of 10 third-generation satellites ordered by the Air Force with three times better accuracy, eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities, 25 percent longer spacecraft lifespan and the capability to broadcast signals compatible with other worldwide global navigation systems, including Europe's Galileo. This is the first USA national security mission for the SpaceX company.

SpaceX said the rocket was a "rare, expendable" version of the Falcon 9 since it would not attempt to re-land the booster after launch, needing to reserve all the rocket fuel to propel the satellite to its distant orbit.

The launch is a landmark for SpaceX to make a presence in the lucrative military space launch market. The rocket flew in an expendable configuration, without any landing legs, at the request of SpaceX's customer, the US Air Force.




The Air Force said that the launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays. (4,400 kilograms) at launch, won't push that number up; it will replace a Global Positioning System craft known as SVN-43, which launched in July 1997. The satellite provides improved services and longer lifetimes.

In addition, "we're going to see an increase in power", Col. Steve Whitney, director of the SMC Global Positioning Systems Directorate, said in the December 14 telecon.

GPS III signals will also be compatible with other satellite-navigation systems, Whitney said, which should "maximize the availability and accuracy of navigation signals worldwide".

He has been a technology writer since more than five years. It's the first in a series and nicknamed Vespucci after the 15th-century Italian explorer who calculated Earth's circumference to within 50 miles (80 kilometers). The original launch window was 8:55 a.m. The launch had been rescheduled earlier in the week because of the weather.

SpaceX wedged the launch in before the new year, marking its 21st launch in 2018 - a record.


  • Trump may throw Mnuchin under the bus over stock market

    Trump may throw Mnuchin under the bus over stock market

    On Sunday, Mnuchin made calls to top USA bankers and got reassurances that banks were still able to make loans, the Treasury said. Trump himself took another swipe at the Fed on Twitter, although he did not mention Powell by name.
    Top Trump official calls bankers, will convene 'Plunge Protection Team'

    Top Trump official calls bankers, will convene 'Plunge Protection Team'

    Still, some market veterans argue that a panicky Wall Street is prematurely pricing in a recession that may not hit until 2020. After another brutal day on Monday, the Dow is 18.8%, or 5,036 points, off its peak reached on September 20.
    Trump vows allies won't 'take advantage' after Mattis exit

    Trump vows allies won't 'take advantage' after Mattis exit

    Trump announced the withdrawal of the roughly 2,000 troops on December 19, declaring ISIS defeated in the Middle Eastern country. Syrian fighters and weapons were deployed along the front line with the northern town of Manbij a day earlier, Hammoud added.
  • Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

    Gunmen storm foreign ministry in Tripoli

    Bach Agha said he found "zero weapons and zero vehicles" in the ministry's warehouses when he took up his job in October. Four months earlier, it claimed an attack on the electoral commission's headquarters that killed 14 people.
    Cardinals sign ex-Redskins safety Swearinger

    Cardinals sign ex-Redskins safety Swearinger

    The ball was recovered by Texans tackle Julie'n Davenport (No. 70), but Swearinger made his case as a unsafe player off the edge. Swearinger has four interceptions, three forced fumbles and a sack in 15 games this season.
    Kate Middleton stuns shoppers at local shop to buy last-minute gifts

    Kate Middleton stuns shoppers at local shop to buy last-minute gifts

    Kate Middleton has reportedly been seen bargain shopping with children Princess Charlotte and Prince George . It was reported the Duchess had bought so much her security staff had to fetch extra trolleys.
  • Your Thurrock wishes you all a Merry Christmas

    Your Thurrock wishes you all a Merry Christmas

    I am glad to have the chance to wish all our residents a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful New Year. To anyone who's given up their Christmas to be there for others, I salute and thank you for your dedication.
    Trump agrees to visit Turkey in 2019, no date set

    Trump agrees to visit Turkey in 2019, no date set

    In a surprise announcement on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he would withdraw US forces from Syria. The Turkish president also wished a happy new year to the United States president and American people.
    Met Eireann forecasts a very mild, dry but cloudy Christmas Day

    Met Eireann forecasts a very mild, dry but cloudy Christmas Day

    Chris Wattie / Reuters A worker clears a sidewalk as light snow falls on Parliament Hill in on November 20, 2018. I would say this is a great way to get a little Christmas snow without all the headaches of a big storm.
  • Austin Rivers, Rockets reportedly agree to deal

    Austin Rivers, Rockets reportedly agree to deal

    Rivers and Paul have preexisting chemistry from the two and a half seasons they spent as teammates with the Los Angeles Clippers. The Rockets' next eight games come against teams with legitimate playoff hopes, starting with the Thunder on Christmas Day.
    Paul Pogba Thanks Jose Mourinho For Trophies

    Paul Pogba Thanks Jose Mourinho For Trophies

    The report adds that the new manager would have a say in the winter transfers and King interests Solskjaer. "Just to be positive". We'll evaluate, look at a few clips and as I said earlier we can do better, we can understand each other better'.
    United States  judge orders North Korea to pay $500M in Otto Warmbier's death

    United States judge orders North Korea to pay $500M in Otto Warmbier's death

    He mentioned a fund established to benefit US victims of other-state-sponsored terror, which has more than $1 billion in assets. Warmbier died days after he was flown back to Cincinnati from North Korea, where he had been imprisoned for 17 months.