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Space

Space X Targeting Tuesday Morning for Falcon 9 Launch

The next rocket launch from Florida’s Space Coast is coming Tuesday morning.

SpaceX will be launching a GPS satellite for the Air Force on a brand-new Falcon 9 rocket. This is the first so-called “national security mission” for SpaceX. Previous launches have been conducted for NASA or non-military customers. Tuesday’s mission marks the culmination of years of political and legal maneuvering to break into the national security launch market. SpaceX bid over $82-million for the launch; 40% below what the Air Force had estimated the mission might cost.

Nicknamed Vespucci, in honor of the Italian explorer, the satellite is the first in a series of next-generation GPS satellites. The launch window is from 9:11 to 9:37 Tuesday morning. The weather forecast is 80% go. This will be SpaceX’s 15th launch from Florida this year. Vice President Mike Pence is expected to be among the spectators at the Cape.