SpaceX sued the U.S. Flying corps in 2014 over the military's honor of a multibillion-dollar, non-contend contract for 36 rocket dispatches to United Launch Alliance, an organization of Boeing and Lockheed.
The very next year Musk's company secured an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite.
It would have marked SpaceX's first so-called National Security Space mission, as defined by the US military, SpaceX said. "As more GPS III satellites join the constellation, it will bring better service at a lower cost to a technology that is now fully woven into the fabric of any modern civilization".
The Falcon 9 in question's first stage did not re-attempt landing, as the payload was too heavy and delivered too high into orbit for the rocket to meet performance requirements in its reusable configuration. GPS III is created to provide three times better accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities.
Air Force and Lockheed Martin engineers are controlling GPS III SV01's launch and checkout test using elements of the GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 0. Spacecraft life will extend to 15 years, 25 percent longer than any of the Global Positioning System satellites on-orbit today. Lockheed Martin is building the new satellites outside Denver.
GPS III signals will also be compatible with other satellite-navigation systems, Whitney said, which should "maximize the availability and accuracy of navigation signals worldwide".
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.
Vespucci's nickname honors Italian cartographer and explorer Amerigo Vespucci, after whom North and South America were named. Sunday's successful launch was preceded by the cancellation of four previous scheduled launches that were scheduled last week, including the one on Saturday.