The US military is showing a deeper faith in Elon Musk’s rocket company and its mission to repurpose rockets as much as possible. On Thursday, a previously flown SpaceX Falcon 9 will power a newto orbit for the US Space Force.
The mission marks the first time a flight-tested propellant has been used for a national security mission. In fact, the Falcon 9 that carries the GPS satellite, nicknamed Neil Armstrong in honor of the famous Apollo astronaut, is the same thruster that was used in the last.
The Space Force and SpaceX certainly hope this mission will go as well as the last one, which had a successful launch, deployment and landing.
Neil Armstrong, or GPS III SV05, is the fifth in a series of Next-generation GPS satellites built by Lockheed Martin for the US Space Force The new satellites are designed to be safer and more difficult to tamper with or spoof, according to a Space Force statement.
A 15-minute launch window for the mission opens Thursday at 9:09 a.m. PT (12:09 p.m. ET) from the LC-40 launch pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.
The thruster is scheduled to return to Earth several minutes after launch, landing on the Solo drone read the instructions in the Atlantic Ocean. You can see everything through the feed below.
Follow CNET’s 2021 space calendar to stay up to date with the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.