Lastly, United Launch Alliance has scheduled its Delta Heavy rocket to lift off from Vandenberg Air Force Base on California's central coast at 3.57am South African time on Wednesday (Tuesday evening local time).
The encapsulation of the satellite took place at Astrotech Space Operations and launch of the satellite would be from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at Florida. The launch window opens at 9:07 a.m.
As usual, SpaceX will be live streaming the event via various web platforms including YouTube.
Wednesday's launch was set to be the first of 32 satellites in production by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6 billion for the Air Force GPS III program, Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder said.
This will be the first Global Positioning System satellite launch for a SpaceX rocket.
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Compared with their predecessors, GPS III satellites will have a stronger military signal that's harder to jam - an improvement that became more urgent after Norway accused Russian Federation of disrupting GPS signals during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military exercise this fall.
According to a Twitter post from SpaceX, the launch which was originally scheduled for Tuesday, was pushed back until tomorrow morning. It'll be carrying a satellite for the U.S. Air Force. The launch was scrapped due to issues with the rocket's ground infrastructure. Eventually, the Air Force plans to replace the old GPS satellite constellation with an entirely new constellation, but for now, new GPS III satellites will augment the current GPS constellation. Blue Origin, too, said it meant to fly the tenth mission of its New Shepard Launch system from West Texas.
The postponed mission comes from Arianespace, which had planned to launch a Soyuz rocket from the spaceport in French Guiana to carry a French defense and intelligence imaging satellite designated CSO-1 into orbit. "If you're a space fan, Christmas comes a week early this year", Space.com wrote of the four planned launches.
Update: SpaceX has been forced to abort today's launch due to an as-of-yet unspecified issue with the rocket.
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