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Launch Photos! SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Soars with 1st GPS III Navigation Satellite

Liftoff for GPS III Satellite

SpaceX

On Dec. 23, 2018, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launched the first of a new breed of GPS satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. See photos from the amazing launch here!

SpaceX Falcon 9 Launches GPS III SV01 2

SpaceX

A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the new GPS III SV01 navigation satellite for the U.S. Air Force lifts off from a pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Dec. 23, 2018.A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the new GPS III SV01 navigation satellite for the U.S. Air Force lifts off from a pad at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Dec. 23, 2018.

Soaring Toward Space

SpaceX

The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the GPS III SV01 satellite soars toward space in this stunning view from a SpaceX webcast on Dec. 23, 2018.

GPS III SV01 in Space!

SpaceX

The GPS III SV01 navigation satellite sails into space after a successful deployment from the SpaceX Falcon 9 upper stage on Dec. 23, 2018.

Meet GPS III SV01

Lockheed Martin

A look at GPS III SV01, the first of a new constellation of super-accurate navigation satellites. The satellite is nicknamed "Vespucci" after Amerigo Vespucci, the namesake of the Americas.

GPS III SV01 in Orbit

Lockheed Martin

An artist's concept of the Air Force's GPS III navigation satellites in orbit. Ten satellites will make up the advanced, ultraprecise constellation.

VP Mike Pence Visits GPS III

Lockheed Martin

Vice President Mike Pence gives a thumbs up with the U.S. Air Force's new GPS III SV01 navigation satellite during a clean room visit with Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson (right) on Oct. 26, 2017. Lockheed Martin built the satellite for the Air Force.

Wrapping GPS III SV01 for Launch

SpaceX via U.S. Air Force Space Command

The U.S. Air Force's first GPS III navigation satellite is encapsulated in its protective payload fairing ahead of its launch on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket in this image taken Dec. 7, 2018.

Celebrating GPS III SV01

Air Force Space Command

This Air Force Space Command poster celebrates the folks who made the GPS III SV01 satellite launch happen.

GPS III SV01 and You!

Air Force Space Command

The GPS III SV01 satellite is the first of a new constellation of super-accurate navigation satellites for military and civilian users. To mark its launch, the U.S. Air Force Space Command created a fun poster.

Awaiting Launch

SpaceX

It took SpaceX a few tries to get the GPS III SV01 mission off the ground. The company first tried to launch the mission on Dec. 18, but a sensor issue on the Falcon 9 rocket's first stage forced a scrub. SpaceX stood down for two days analyzing the issue before trying to launch again.

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