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SpaceX set to launch Space Force GPS satellite on Friday


A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will carry a Space Force GPS satellite into orbit.

US Space Force

SpaceX and Space Force are getting along famously. Elon Musk’s company is gearing up to launch a military GPS satellite from Florida on Friday. It follows on the heels of a previous Space Force Falcon 9 launch in June.

The launch is scheduled for a 15-minute window that opens at 6:43 p.m. PT on Friday.

The GPS III Space Vehicle (SV) 04 is the fourth in a series of GPS satellites operated by the US Space Force, the newest branch of the military. It will join a larger satellite constellation already in orbit.

It’s been a busy week for rocket launches that haven’t actually launched. SpaceX was scheduled to send a new batch of Starlink communications satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 on Thursday, but that launch was scrubbed and will be rescheduled. United Launch Alliance also intended to send up a Delta IV Heavy rocket on Wednesday with a classified spy satellite, but a technical issue stopped the most recent attempt.

The postponed Starlink launch combined with the Space Force mission made for a nifty photo opportunity. SpaceX shared a view on Twitter earlier this week of the two Falcon 9s on their separate launch pads.

We’ll see if SpaceX can escort the GPS mission into orbit as planned. As we’ve seen this week, delays are common.

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