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Launch of Air Force's next generation GPS satellite postponed for 1 day

21 December 2018
Launch of Air Force's next generation GPS satellite postponed for 1 day

That left United Launch Alliance, and its Delta IV Heavy rocket, scheduled for launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 8:57pm ET (01:57 UTC Wednesday).

For the second time in two days, SpaceX has scrubbed the launch of its Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral.

On Tuesday, the Falcon 9's on-board computer encountered an error a few minutes before blast-off, and the launch was aborted.

As usual, SpaceX will be live streaming the event via various web platforms including YouTube.

The launch was rescheduled for Wednesday.

Tuesday's launch is the first of 32 satellites in production by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6 billion for the Air Force's GPS III program, Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder said.

It's already been a long wait for the USA military to get aloft what's created to be the most powerful Global Positioning System satellite ever. The satellite will be deployed to medium Earth orbit approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff.

Update: The stars didn't quite align for a record day for rocket launches.

Vice President Mike Pence was in Florida for the now-delayed SpaceX launch.

But it was developed by the US military, which still designs, launches and operates the system.

The launch was canceled as another company was forced to abort a similar mission. The launch was scrapped due to issues with the rocket's ground infrastructure.

SpaceX dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open up competition, according to SpaceX's website. Due to mission requirements, SpaceX will not attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage after launch. "The U.S. Space Command will integrate space capabilities across all branches of the military, it will develop the space doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures that will enable our war fighters to defend our nation in this new era".

The Air Force designs and operates the GPS system, which has widespread civilian and military applications.

What: French company Arianespace is using a Soyuz rocket to take a satellite into space for the French Defense Ministry.