HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) — SpaceX is getting ready to launch from Cape Canaveral in Florida Tuesday to bring a U.S. Space Force global positioning satellite into orbit.
The launch window for the Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III SV03 satellite window opens at 12:55 p.m. California time, and remains open for 15 minutes. A livestream at www.spacex.com will begin 20 minutes prior to the launch.
The launch was originally scheduled for April 29, but the mission was put on pause for 60 days to implement new health and safety measures amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our space systems division is filled with exceptional, highly talented team members focused on delivering the next generation of GPS satellites. They are extremely resourceful, and had to overcome numerous challenges imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic to successfully get us into a position where we can safely launch,” Col. Edward Byrne, MEO Space Systems Division chief, said in a statement.
SpaceX says the weather looks 60% favorable for the launch.
Falcon 9 and GPS III Space Vehicle 03 vertical on SLC-40 ahead of tomorrow’s launch for the @SpaceForceDoD. The 15-minute window opens at 3:55 p.m. EDT, and weather is looking 60% favorable → https://t.co/bJFjLCzWdK pic.twitter.com/4QfF4KtDDH
— SpaceX (@SpaceX) June 30, 2020
The satellite scheduled to launch into space Tuesday will join the first two GPS III satellites, which are more accurate and powerful than previous generations and will provide improved performance for civilian and military users, according to the Air Force.
SpaceX has made it a practice to retrieve and reuse its rockets, but Tuesday’s mission will be the first National Security Space Launch in which the booster will be recovered.