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SpaceX launches satellite for U.S. Air Force

The first reusable stage of the Falcon 9 rocket made a successful landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic.

The American company SpaceX has launched a Falcon 9 launch vehicle with a third-generation GPS navigation system (GPS III) satellite in the interests of the US Air Force. The broadcast was conducted on the company's website on Thursday, June 17.

The launch took place at 12:09 am US East Coast time from the 40th Launch Complex at the Cape Canaveral Spaceport in Florida.

In an hour and a half, the satellite will be launched by the second stage to an altitude of about 1 thousand km above the Earth, and then placed in an average near-Earth orbit at an altitude of about 20 thousand km.

At the same time, the first reusable stage of the Falcon 9 made a successful vertical landing on a floating platform in the Atlantic Just Read the Instructions — 647 kilometers from the spaceport.

This is the fifth GPS III satellite to be launched into orbit in 2018. The 3.8-ton spacecraft is to be the next element in a planned orbital constellation of 32 third-generation global positioning satellites. These devices should gradually replace the outdated satellites that provide a GPS signal around the world.

The services of the GPS system, which is operated by the US Air Force, are used by more than 4 billion people in the world.

The first GPS III satellite was launched into orbit on December 23, 2018, using SpaceX's Falcon 9 launch vehicle, which won the tender to launch five of the first six vehicles of this type.

Recall that on June 6, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket with the SXM-8 relay satellite. It is intended for the SiriusXM radio broadcasting company with an audience of more than 34 million people. The satellite will provide broadcasts of radio programs in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean.

And on May 27, SpaceX launched 60 Starlink Internet satellites into orbit. This was the 29th launch of a group of satellites since May 2019.

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