SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket stands atop Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket's debut launch is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2018.

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Article By: James Dean

 

SpaceX's first Falcon Heavy rocket stands atop Launch Pad 39A at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket's debut launch is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2018.
SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy rocket stands atop Launch Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The rocket’s debut launch is scheduled for Feb. 6, 2018.
Credit: SpaceX

For its 2018 finale, SpaceX on Tuesday morning will attempt to launch what the company and the Air Force are calling an “historic” mission from Cape Canaveral.

The launch will be SpaceX’s first of a national security mission, carrying the first in a new generation of satellites modernizing the Global Positioning System.

“It’s going to be an amazing day,” said Lee Rosen, SpaceX vice president of customer operations and integration.

Liftoff of a new Falcon 9 rocket and the first GPS III satellite, valued at $577 million, is targeted for 9:11 a.m. Tuesday, at the opening of a 26-minute window.

Vice President Mike Pence plans to visit the Cape to witness the blastoff from Launch Complex 40 of a mission he said represents “an important step forward as we seek to secure American leadership in space.”

The launch would be SpaceX’s 21st of 2018, topping by three the high mark it set last year, including 15 from the Space Coast.