SpaceX launches first U.S. national security space mission setting up military satellite

By REUTERS
December 23, 2018 16:14
1 minute read.
Breaking news

Breaking news. (photo credit: JPOST STAFF)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later



Dec 23 - A SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral on Sunday, marking the space transportation company's first national security space mission for the United States.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying a roughly $500 million GPS satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:51 a.m. local time (1351 GMT). Four previous scheduled launches in the last week, including one on Saturday, were canceled due to weather and technical issues.



The successful launch is a significant victory for billionaire Elon Musk's privately held rocket company, which has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co .



SpaceX sued the U.S. Air Force in 2014 over the military's award of a multibillion-dollar, non-compete contract for 36 rocket launches to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed. It dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open up competition.



The next year, SpaceX won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.



The satellite is the first to launch out of 32 in production by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6 billion for the Air Force GPS III program, according to Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder.



The launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays, the Air Force said.

The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Breaking news
February 17, 2019
Trump's choice for U.N. ambassador withdraws as nominee

By REUTERS