GPS III Space Vehicle 5 Deployed by SpaceX

Space Coast, FL – Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Space Vehicle 5 lifted off aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The mission for the U.S. Space Force went without a hitch and the rocket booster returned safely. Launch occurred at 1209 EDT (1609 UTC) yesterday from SLC-40 on Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off for GPS III SV05
SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts off for GPS III SV05 | Photo: Jon Van Horne

GPS III Space Vehicle 5 Mission

GPS Block III consists of the first ten GPS III satellites, which will be used to keep the Navstar Global Positioning System operational. Lockheed Martin designed, developed and manufactured the GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed and all ten Block III satellites. It weighs around 3,880 kg (8,550 lb) at launch and consumes 15kW of power.

Nine Merlin engines thrusting the Falcon 9 rocket to space
Nine Merlin engines thrust the Falcon 9 rocket to space | Photo: Jon Van Horne

This marks the 122nd Falcon 9 mission by SpaceX. And if you're counting, this is their 63rd flight proven rocket booster and a 67th reflight of the Falcon 9 fleet. This was also SpaceX's 88th successful booster landing. The rocket booster landed on ASDS Just Read The Instructions in the Atlantic Ocean.

Falcon 9 passing through Max-Q
Falcon 9 passing through Max-Q | Photo: Jon Van Horne

There are five more launches for the GPS III satellites. After that, the new GPS III-F will be put into service and placed in orbit.

Check out more information on this mission here.

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