A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III SV01 navigation satellite for the US Air Force stands on top of its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida as a daybreak for a launch attempt on 22 December 201
The launch of a SpaceX rocket with advanced GPS satellite to the US Air Force on Saturday (December 22) has been delayed for 24 hours with major winds over Mission's Florida launch site, company officials said. .
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket was minutes from the launch of the new GPS III SV01 satellite, the first of a new series of US navigation satellites, from a cushion in Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (liftoff set for 9:21 AM EST, or 1421 GMT) when the company officially stood for the day. Flight controllers had tracked unacceptably high upper winds through the otherwise smooth countdown.
"We had a team that demanded wind conditions in the upper level that were not in flight limits," said Tom Praderio, a SpaceX firmware engineer, under live commentary. The next launch attempt will be Sunday, December 23 at 8:51 am at EST (1351 GMT). [How GPS Satellites Work]
Saturday's delay is the latest booklet for the GPS III SV01 launch.
SpaceX attempted to launch the navigation satellite on Tuesday (December 18), but an unexpected sensor reading on the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage forced the company to descend for two days to study the glitch. Full weather counteracted a second launch attempt on Thursday (Dec. 20), which led to the sliding to Saturday.
The GPS III SV01 satellite was built by Lockheed Martin and is the first of a new fleet of ultra-precise satellite navigation for use by the US military and civilians. The nickname Vespucci (after the Amerigo Vespucci, the name of the Americas), the SUV-large satellite will replace the aging SVN-43 GPS satellite. launched in July 1997, Air Force officials have said.
The flight of GPS III SV01 is SpaceX's latest mission this year and will mark the 21st launch of 2018 for the Hawthorne, California-based company.