Space Coast, FL – On November 5, 2020 at 1824 EST, SpaceX delivered a Lockheed Martin Global Positioning System satellite. The name of the satellite is Sacagawea, or GPS III SV04. This is the fourth GPS satellite of this newer, modern version.
The first attempt of the launch was aborted on October 2, 2020. The auto abort system safely shut down the ignition sequence at ~3 seconds to lift off.
Unexpected pressure rise in the turbomachinery gas generator.– Elon Musk, SpaceX CEO
After an investigation, SpaceX found that there was an early start on 2 of the Merlin engines. Engine 1 and 2. These engines were replaced ahead of the launch new launch date.
The Success of GPS III SV04
This mission marked SpaceX’s 101st successful launch. The Falcon 9 rocket booster B1062.1 made it’s first flight and successful landing on the Of Course I Still Love You autonomous drone-ship.
SpaceX has currently been unhindered in automation and reusability. A few more months left in the year with a decent amount of launches left to go. We haven’t hit that 48 launches in 1 year yet, but 2021 is looking to be that year. More improvements are being made daily and we can expect less delays and scrubs due to tech/mechanical for next year.
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