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00:00:00
>> Three, two, one, zero, ignition lift-off.>> A milestone for Elon Musk's SpaceX rocket company Sunday, as it launched its first national security space mission for the United States.>> And here we go, we've had a successful lift-off of the Falcon 9 vehicle carrying the GPS III space vehicle into transfer orbit.
00:00:22
>> The Falcon 9 rocket is carrying a roughly $500 million GPS satellite known as GPS III built by Lockheed Martin.>> Stage separation confirmed.>>
APPLAUSE
>> The successful launch is a significant victory for Musk and SpaceX. Which has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches dominated by Lockheed and Boeing.
00:00:48
The GPS III satellite is the first to launch out of 32 in production for the Air Force GPS III program.>> Our next immediate milestone is the fairing to plummet. We're going to expose the GPS III satellite to the vacuum of space.>> SpaceX sued the US Air Force in 2014 over the military's award of a multi billion dollar non-compete contract for 36 rocket launches to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed.
00:01:15
It dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open up competition. The following year, SpaceX won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite which will have a lifespan of 15 years.>> Everything is running nominally, from the second stage to our payload.