Falcon 9 Lights the Florida Night as GPS III Takes Flight

CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – After a plethora of schedule changes, booster 1062 launched at 6:28 EST (2328 UTC) on November 5 carrying the GPS 3 Space Vehicle 4 Sacagawea to orbit. After launch, the booster returned to Earth landing on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You. A water recovery of the fairing halves was conducted by GO Ms Chief.

Falcon 9 carries GPS II SV4 Sacagawea off the pad on November 5. (Image Credit: Kyle Montgomery/Next Horizons Spaceflight)

This was the 100th orbital launch attempt and 98th successful launch for SpaceX’s Falcon 9 family of boosters since 2010. The speed at which SpaceX reached 100 launches is impressive and illustrates the practicality of booster reuse in both time and cost. The availability of more payloads for SpaceX through their Starlink venture also has also allowed for enhanced speed in reaching this milestone.

The payload for this mission is the GPS 3 LV4 Sacagawea. This is the fourth in the GPS 3 series of satellites for the US Space Force. This new series of Block III GPS satellites adds a more robust signal strength for current wavebands, but also add both civilian and military wavebands to their output. This will also add to interoperability with other navigation satellite systems such as Galileo.

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