Air Force delays launch as it reviews SpaceX rocket

Air Force delays launch as it reviews SpaceX rocket
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The U.S. Air Force has pushed back the launch of a new Global Position System satellite as it reviews the upgraded SpaceX rocket that is supposed to launch it into orbit. 

Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the launch date, which was initially set for this month, is being delayed until October at the earliest. 

The Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center told Bloomberg News in a statement that the launch date "has slipped due to ongoing SpaceX qualification testing and final engineering reviews by both SpaceX and the Air Force of Falcon 9 design changes."


The Air Force said it is "working closely" with SpaceX and hopes to issue a "Flight Worthiness Certification just prior to launch."

The GPS III satellites are expected to provide improved security against cyberthreats, as well as more accuracy for navigation. But the satellites are years behind schedule, Bloomberg reported. 

The Block 5, the latest version of SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket, had its first successful launch earlier this month when it was used to carry Bangladesh’s first geostationary communications satellite toward orbit.

Elon Musk, SpaceX's founder and CEO, said this month that he wants the Block 5 "to be the most reliable rocket ever built," according to Bloomberg.