This specific unit sent astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to orbit in May and then launched a South Korean satellite in July.
The launch of the U.S. Space Force GPS III Space Vehicle 04 is scheduled for 6:43 p.m. California time.
If SpaceX becomes a more frequent provider not only of launch services, but also of spacecraft including satellites, it could open up plenty of new lucrative long-term revenue opportunities, particular when it comes to defense and national security contracts.
Under the SDA contract, SpaceX will use its Starlink assembly plant in Redmond, Washington, to build four satellites fitted with a wide-angle infrared missile-tracking sensor supplied by a subcontractor, an SDA official said.
This is not the first contract SpaceX has won from the Pentagon: In August it won part of a billion-dollar agreement with the Department of Defense to launch new rockets for the Space Force.
As luck would have it, Wednesday night's ULA launch wound up being scrubbed at the last minute due to an engine-ignition failure. A new date has not been set for that mission.
Thankfully, SpaceX's patience with Starlink-12 ultimately paid off, and the mission was a spectacular success, launching shortly after dawn and culminating with a flawless Falcon 9 booster landing, record-breaking fairing catch, and another batch of 60 satellites in orbit.
It is reported that at the time of the abort, it was not clear if SpaceX aborted the launch due to an issue with the rocket or the ground support systems, Insprucker said. "Less than three months ago, we successfully launched GPS III SV03". I can't be more proud of everyone involved in this mission.
The satellite, officially named GPS III Space Vehicle 4, is the fourth in the nation's third generation of GPS satellites.