Delta 4 rocket blasts off on GPS mission

May 28, 2010

(AP) -- After several day's delay due to technical issues, a Delta 4 rocket has rumbled into the sky from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral carrying a GPS satellite.

Officials said the military craft that blasted off Thursday night would be used for national security and navigation.

It's the first of a new generation of Global Positioning System satellites going into orbit. A dozen such Boeing-built satellites will be launched over the next several years to replace 20-year-old satellites now in service.

This will be the first GPS mission to launch on a Delta 4, after 49 missions launched atop the smaller Delta 2 between 1989 and 2009. Future GPS will be lifted into orbit on the Delta 4, on the Atlas 4 and on ULA's Evolved Expendable .

Explore further: NASA-NOAA Suomi NPP Satellite team ward off recent space debris threat

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