Another mission success for Falcon 9! – The 6th GPS III satellite has been deployed.

Stephen Marr


SpaceX confirmed the 6th GPS III satellite has been deployed. Not even 3 full weeks into the year, and we’ve already seen 4 successful missions out of the Falcon family!

written by Sawyer Rosenstein January 18, 2023

SpaceX launched its fourth mission of the year, a GPS-III satellite for the US Space Force, on Wednesday, Jan. 18. The launch saw a Falcon 9 rocket lift off from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:24 EST (12:24 UTC).

The payload for this mission is Global Positioning System III Space Vehicle 06 (GPS-III-SV06). It was built in Littleton, Colorado, by Lockheed Martin and will be placed into a medium Earth orbit (MEO) with an operational circular orbit at 20,180 km and an inclination of 55 degrees.

GPS-III-SV06 had a launch mass of 4.352 kg and is named after Amelia Earhart, the famous aviator who became the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1932. Earhart disappeared during a flight around the world in 1937.

The satellite arrived in Florida in October 2022 for final pre-launch processing.

The mission marked the fifth GPS III satellite launch aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, with one previously launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) rocket.

Powering the first part of this mission was Falcon 9 booster B1077-2, making its second flight. The booster debuted on the Crew-5 mission to the International Space Station last year.


The mission followed the standard Falcon 9 propellant loading profile. Beginning at T-35 minutes and concluding shortly before liftoff, the rocket was filled with chilled RP-1, a rocket-grade kerosene, and densified liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer.

After lifting off and pitching and rolling onto the correct trajectory, Falcon 9 passed through maximum dynamic pressure approximately one minute 12 seconds into flight. After a planned burn of two minutes and 33 seconds, the first stage shut down and separated to prepare for its landing on the drone ship A Shortfall of Gravitas stationed 635 km northeast of the launch site.