SpaceX is set to launch a GPS satellite into orbit on Wednesday morning (Jan. 18), and you can watch the liftoff live.
A Falcon 9 booster from SpaceX is scheduled to launch GPS III space vehicle 06, an Advanced Global Positioning System satellite, into space on Wednesday from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 7:10 a.m. EST (1210 GMT). . , Watch it live here courtesy of Space.com or directly through the company (opens in new tab),
The launch will be SpaceX’s fourth in 2023 and, as always, the Falcon 9’s first stage will attempt a landing about eight minutes after launch.
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This GPS satellite is named after Amelia Earhart, a prominent female aviation pioneer who was the first non-male pilot to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. This launch will be the sixth in the GPS III series; The last one, named after Neil Armstrong, is slated to launch in June 2021.
The satellite will be launched by the US Space Force as part of a larger effort to modernize the nation’s GPS fleet. According to its manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, the new satellite has a life span of 15 years and will eventually form part of a set of 32 next-generation satellites. (opens in new tab),
The latest generation of GPS spacecraft, Lockheed Martin said, features three times better accuracy, eight times improvements in anti-jamming systems and a new modular design for customization “to better address changing mission needs and emerging threats”. Is.
The company says nearly half the world’s population (or four billion users) will use GPS for everything from transportation to precise agricultural monitoring to utility infrastructure (some of which use GPS to pinpoint service areas). depend on technology.
However, the US GPS network is not the only set of navigation satellites available. The European Union has an independent set known as Galileo, Russia has GLONASS, and China has a system called Beidou. The independence of GPS systems is often raised as an important matter of national sovereignty and security, particularly in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Elizabeth Howell is the co-author of “why am i tall (opens in new tab)?” (ECW Press, 2022; with Canadian astronaut Dave Williams), a book about space medicine. Follow him on Twitter @howlspace (opens in new tab), Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) either Facebook (opens in new tab),