Elon Musk’s SpaceX has cancelled the long-delayed launch of an navigation satellite for the US military, unable to complete its first designated national security mission for that Usa owing to technical issues with its rocket.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket, carrying a roughly $500m global positioning system (GPS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp, was slated to use faraway from Florida’s Cape Canaveral soon there after 9am local time (14.00GMT) on Wednesday.
But SpaceX said on Twitter it turned out standing down on the launch attempt of your GPS III to further evaluate an “out of family” reading to the rocket’s first-stage sensors and would confirm a completely new launch date once that review was complete.
A successful launch will be a significant victory for Musk, a billionaire entrepreneur who spent years seeking to get into the lucrative promote for military space launches long covered with Lockheed and Boeing Co.
It were to mark SpaceX’s first so-called national security space mission, as based on north america military, SpaceX said.
SpaceX sued north america Air Force in 2014 in protest in the military’s award associated with a multibillion-dollar, non-compete agreement for 36 rocket launches to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed. It later dropped the lawsuit right after the air force accepted open up competition.
In 2016, SpaceX won an $83m air force contract to produce the GPS III satellite, that can use a lifespan of 20 years.
Wednesday’s launch was set to get the very first of 32 satellites being made by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6bn with the air force GPS III program, Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder said.
“Once fully operational, this latest generation of GPS satellites will provide new capabilities to users, including 3x greater accuracy and up to eight times the anti-jamming capabilities,” said air force spokesman William Russell.
The launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but continues to be hobbled by production delays, mid-air force said. SpaceX first halted the launch as a result of same technical warning featuring a sensor.
The next GPS III satellite is because of launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing inside company’s Colorado processing facility.