Falcon 9 launches GPS III-4 navsat for US military (and civilian users)

by | Nov 6, 2020 | Launches, Military space, Satellites, Seradata News, SpaceX

After a series of launch delays including an engine induced launch abort in October, the GPS III-4 (aka GPS III SV04) navigation satellite was launched successfully at 2324 GMT on 5 November by a Space X Falcon 9  from SLC-40 launch pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Following the initial ascent, the Falcon 9 reusable first stage B1062 on its first flight, landed on the drone ship Of Course I Still Love You, located over 600 km down range in the Atlantic.  The attempt to recover the fairing halves only used one recovery ship Ms Chief, meaning that one half had to be fished out of the sea. The spacecraft itself was placed into a 20,183 x 402 km transfer orbit inclined at 55.0 degrees (data from US Space Command via Jonathan McDowell) on its way to its circa 20,000 km circular Medium Earth orbit position. The launch client was originally for the US Air Force, which later became the US Space Force.

Artist’s impression of GPS III satellite. Courtesy: Lockheed Martin/Wikipedia

Mark Williamson contributed to this story.


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