The launch of the Falcon 9 rocket carrying a $US500 million Global Positioning System satellite, which is the US Air Force's most powerful Global Positioning System satellite ever built, occurred at 1:51pm (local time) from Florida's Cape Canaveral. Other attempts on Wednesday, Thursday and yesterday were also aborted due to similar problems and bad weather.
The satellite was deployed to its intended orbit approximately 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff.
The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019 and the subsequent satellites will undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility. It's the first in a series and nicknamed Vespucci after the 15th-century Italian explorer who calculated Earth's circumference to within 80 kilometres.
The GPS III satellite is a next-generation version satellite that will significantly aid the US Air Force in more precise geolocation services.
Air Force and Lockheed Martin engineers are controlling GPS III SV01's launch and checkout test using elements of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 0.
The satellite itself was built by Lockheed Martin.
Space X will now finish 2018 with 21 launches, surpassing its own record of 18 missions past year. Instead of just following the traditional one-and-done model of rocket launches, SpaceX launches and then re-launches its rockets to make spaceflight cheaper for all. The original launch window was 8:55 a.m.
The satellite, designated GPS III SV01, is the first of an entirely new design of GPS satellite which will help the Air Force modernize today's GPS constellation with new technology and advanced capabilities. However, he added that future GPS III missions may feature attempts to recover the first stage, depending on flight results from Sunday's mission.