"I'm proud of my team and look forward to our additional National Security Space missions with SpaceX".
SpaceX's Falcon rocket was poised to lift off from Cape Canaveral on Saturday, but bad weather delayed the launch until at least Sunday. Mission requirements meant that SpaceX did not attempt to land Falcon 9's first stage after launch on this occasion.
The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company's Colorado processing facility. Its Vice President for Navigation Systems, Jonathan Caldwell, said: "In the coming days, GPS III SV01 will use its liquid apogee engines to climb into its operational orbit about 12,550 miles above the earth". This is planned that very next year there will be the launch of the spacecraft with GPS III which has a lifespan of more than 15 years.
The Air Force said that the launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays. The new L1C civil signal also will make it the first GPS satellite broadcasting a compatible signal with other worldwide global navigation satellite systems, like the European Union's Galileo system. 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. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin's existing modular GPS III, which was created to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs.
The satellite itself was built by Lockheed Martin. It completed Falcon 9's third launch and landing this year.
The next launch attempt will be on Sunday at 8:51 a.m. EST/ 13:51 UTC, according to Space X officials.
Later on Sunday, Lockheed Martin, who built the satellite, confirmed the GPS III space vehicle had begun receiving and responding to commands.