First US National Security Space Mission Launched By Space X

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This afternoon, a Falcon 9 rocket of Space X was able to successfully launch in the United States. The launch comes after four successive failed attempts to carry out the first national security space mission of the company.

The rocket was carrying a satellite that is worth approximately $500 million (£393.7 million) that was built by Lockheed Martin. It was blasted off from Florida just before 2 pm GMT.

The launch of the satellite was initially planned for Tuesday, however, it failed because of some technical issues. Other launched that were attempted on Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday were also aborted because of similar problems and bad weather.

There were also some concerns that a possible shutdown of the US government might delay the proceedings, because of a lock on the funding for the said mission. The US Air Force monitors the location of the launch that is known as the 45th Space Wing. The agency helps in setting up roadblocks and clear relevant air space.

The launch is considered as a milestone for Elon Musk, the Tesla billionaire and chief of Space X who has spent years attempting to break into the defence space sector that is dominated by Lockheed and Boeing.

The US military has awarded part of a multi-billion-dollar contract to Space X, alongside United Launch Alliance, the joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed, for 36 rocket launches.

The GPS III satellite has a lifespan of 15 years. It is the first of 32 rockets that are to be built by Lockheed in contracts that are worth a combined $12.6 billion from the US Air Force.

Space X will now finish the year with 21 launches, exceeding its own record of 18 missions during the previous year.

Elon Musk later tweeted to praise the launch. He stated: “Engineering is true magic.”

Space X’s next satellite is scheduled to launch in mid-2019.