SpaceX launches national security mission

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched a military satellite on Sunday from Florida’s Cape Canaveral as the space exploration company began its first national security mission.

The GPS III satellite, which was built by Lockheed Martin, launched at 8:51 a.m. Eastern, according to Reuters.


Sunday's launch came after several unsuccessful attempts last week. Most recently, SpaceX canceled a scheduled launch on Saturday because of weather concerns.

SpaceX in 2016 won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the satellite after suing the Air Force in 2014 over a noncompete contract that was awarded to United Launch Alliance, according to Reuters.

The next GPS III satellite will be launched in mid-2019, Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder told Reuters.