SpaceX aborts launch of updated GPS satellite just before takeoff

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Update October second, 10:00PM ET: Just 2 seconds before liftoff, SpaceX stopped the launch of its Falcon Nine rocket, with out giving a transparent indication of what went fallacious. The subsequent alternative for SpaceX to fly is Saturday night time, even though a launch date hasn’t been showed but.

Original Story: Late Friday night time, SpaceX is slated to launch a brand new upgraded GPS satellite for the USA Space Force from Cape Canaveral, Florida — the most recent spacecraft meant to lend a hand modernize the present GPS fleet. This would be the fourth GPS satellite of its type to launch within the closing 3 years, and the 3rd one to be introduced by means of SpaceX.

The satellite going up in this flight is GPS III SV04, which can turn into one of the 31 number one GPS satellites in orbit. This automobile is a component of a brand new block of GPS III spacecraft meant to slowly substitute the present growing older GPS automobiles. Built by means of Lockheed Martin, those GPS III satellites are meant to be 3 times extra correct than their predecessors and feature extra complicated “anti-jamming” features to forestall cyberattacks, due to a brand new M-Code sign embedded within the satellite.

The GPS III satellites also are intended to be extra user-friendly for civilians. The automobiles recreation a brand new “civil sign” that lets them extra simply be in contact with different satellite navigation programs in area, significantly Europe’s Galileo constellation of greater than two dozen spacecraft. That manner, civilians and business customers having a look to faucet into the gadget can have extra doable spacecraft overhead at any given time.

It’s been a sluggish procedure launching those GPS III replacements, marked by means of technological and trying out delays, in addition to delays associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Lockheed Martin says the 5th satellite is able to move and waiting for its launch date. In the intervening time, 5 extra GPS III satellites are in manufacturing, in keeping with the corporate, and 3 of them are absolutely constructed and present process assessments. Once GPS III SV04 launches, as much as 12 % of the present GPS constellation will consist of the brand new satellites.

Takeoff of GPS III SV04 is scheduled for 9:43PM ET, on most sensible of SpaceX’s Falcon Nine rocket from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. SpaceX is the usage of a wholly new Falcon Nine rocket for the activity, even though just closing week, the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center announced it’ll permit SpaceX to launch two long run GPS III satellites at the corporate’s used Falcon Nine rockets. For this launch, SpaceX nonetheless plans to recuperate the Falcon Nine following the flight and can try to land the rocket on one of the corporate’s floating drone ships within the Atlantic Ocean.

For now, climate is having a look ok for launch with a 70 % probability of favorable stipulations. However, rockets at the East Coast have struggled to launch this week, with 3 separate automobiles experiencing delays because of technological problems and climate issues.

Tune in this night to peer if SpaceX can damage the streak, and get one rocket off the bottom this week. Live protection is scheduled to start 15 mins before takeoff.

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