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SpaceX launches Air Force's best GPS yet, ends banner year

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX has launched the U.S. Air Force’s most powerful GPS satellite ever built.

A Falcon 9 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on Sunday, hoisting the satellite into orbit.

The satellite was supposed to soar Tuesday but rocket concerns and then weather delayed the flight.

Heather Wilson, secretary of the Air Force, says this next-generation GPS satellite is three times more accurate than previous versions and eight times better at anti-jamming. It’s the first in a series and nicknamed Vespucci after the 15th-century Italian explorer who calculated Earth’s circumference to within 50 miles (80 kilometers).

Lockheed Martin developed the advanced GPS technology and is building the satellites at facility near Denver.

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Sunday’s launch was Space X’s 21st and final launch of the year, a company record.

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The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
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