The latest satellite in the Third Generation Global Positioning System (GPS III) of the US Air Force has been put into orbit.
The satellite, number SV03, mounted on the top of the Falcon 9 boosters, took off at 3:10 am Hanoi time from the 40th Launching Complex of Cape Canaveral Air Station in Florida, USA.
About 1 hour 29 minutes after launch, the satellite was deployed into low-Earth orbit as planned. The first floor of the reusable boosters also landed safely on unmanned barges "Just Read the Instructions" on the Atlantic Ocean.
The launch marks the second time that SpaceX has launched a GPS satellite for the US Air Force. The new SV03 is the third device of the GPS III network to be put into orbit. It will replace an old one out of 31 GPS satellites in operation across the system.
When fully operational, GPS III will provide three times the accuracy and anti-interference ability 8 times more effective than the previous version. New generation satellites are also equipped with some features that allow communication with other navigation systems such as Europe's Galileo.
The SV03 satellite was originally scheduled to launch on April 29 but was delayed by two months due to the Covid-19 effect. The Air Force says it will launch more GPS III satellites this year to ensure the system works well during a pandemic.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket takes a new generation positioning satellite into orbit.