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US air force's most powerful GPS satellite launched by Musk's firm

 

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Take off: The Falcon 9 rocket prior to lift off at Cape Canaveral. Photo: Reuters

Take off: The Falcon 9 rocket prior to lift off at Cape Canaveral. Photo: Reuters

Take off: The Falcon 9 rocket prior to lift off at Cape Canaveral. Photo: Reuters

SpaceX has launched the US air force's most powerful GPS satellite ever built.

A rocket carrying a US military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral yesterday, marking the space transportation company's first national security space mission for the US.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying a roughly $500m (€439m) GPS satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8.51am local time. Four previous scheduled launches in the last week, including one on Saturday, were cancelled due to weather and technical issues.

The launch is a significant victory for billionaire Elon Musk's privately held rocket company, which has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches.

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