Naija Tech News (NTN) on 06, and in content, SpaceX successfully sent the latest generation of US GPS III satellites into space, GPS III, Nasa, satellites, space, SpaceX, US .
At 8 pm Eastern Time on November 5, the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket successfully took off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and put the GPS satellite of the US Space Force into orbit about one and a half hours later. At the same time, SpaceX’s unmanned recovery vessel also successfully recovered the Falcon 9 rocket booster.
The satellite launched by the Falcon 9 rocket this time is called GPS III SV04. It is the fourth GPS satellite launched in the past three years and the third such satellite launched by SpaceX. After the successful launch of GPS III SV04, there are currently 31 main GPS satellites in orbit.
These newly launched GPS III satellites will slowly replace the currently aging GPS satellites. They are manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Because the satellite is embedded with a new M-Code signal, its accuracy should be three times that of its predecessor, and it has more advanced “anti-jamming” capabilities to prevent cyber attacks.
GPS III satellites can also be used more conveniently by ordinary civilian users. These satellites are equipped with new “civilian signals” that make it easier for them to communicate with other satellite navigation systems in space, especially the Galileo satellite network in Europe, which consists of more than 20 satellites.
Due to delays in technology development and testing, coupled with the impact of the new crown pneumonia epidemic, the frequency of launching these GPS III satellites is not high. However, Lockheed Martin stated that the fifth GPS III satellite is ready and waiting to confirm the launch date.
At the same time, according to the company, another five GPS III satellites are in production, three of which have been fully completed and are undergoing testing. Once GPS III SV04 is launched, 12% of the current GPS network will consist of new satellites.
Before this launch, SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket also encountered some problems. The mission was originally scheduled for October 2, but the rocket aborted its launch 2 seconds before liftoff. SpaceX later discovered that two of the rocket’s nine main engines tried to ignite earlier than expected, triggering the suspension. SpaceX has replaced the engine and hopes that the problem has been resolved.
NASA is paying close attention to the launch because the same problem was found in the engine of the Falcon 9 rocket scheduled to send its astronauts to the International Space Station this month. SpaceX is replacing the engine, but NASA hopes to ensure that the Falcon 9 rocket can safely lift off before the manned launch of the GPS satellite.
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