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SpaceX launches first US national security space mission

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A SpaceX rocket carrying a U.S. military navigation satellite blasted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on Sunday, marking the space transportation company’s first national security space mission for the United States.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying a roughly $500 million GPS satellite built by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 8:51 a.m. local time (1351 GMT). Four previous scheduled launches in the last week, including one on Saturday, were canceled due to weather and technical issues.

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The successful launch is a significant victory for billionaire Elon Musk’s privately held rocket company, which has spent years trying to break into the lucrative market for military space launches dominated by Lockheed and Boeing Co (BA.N).

SpaceX sued the U.S. Air Force in 2014 over the military’s award of a multibillion-dollar, non-compete contract for 36 rocket launches to United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed. It dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to open up competition.

The next year, SpaceX won an $83 million Air Force contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which will have a lifespan of 15 years.

The satellite is the first to launch out of 32 in production by Lockheed under contracts worth a combined $12.6 billion for the Air Force GPS III program, according to Lockheed spokesman Chip Eschenfelder.

The launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but has been hobbled by production delays, the Air Force said.

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The next GPS III satellite is due to launch in mid-2019, Eschenfelder said, while subsequent satellites undergo testing in the company’s Colorado processing facility.

Additional reporting by Eric M. Johnson and Gina Cherelus; Editing by Hugh Lawson and Daniel Wallis


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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2020 Election

‘He blew it!’ Keith Olbermann erupts over Trump’s ‘stupid and dull’ debate performance — ‘the oxygen of his rise to power was gone’

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On his new political show on YouTube, commentator Keith Olbermann ripped into President Donald Trump for his performance during the final presidential debate. Olbermann said that Trump "ran out of bullsh*t" as he tried to attack his rival Joe Biden.

"I don't mean to say that he was honest," he clarified. "It seems he was lying and manipulating reality at an even higher rate than usual. But with a few momentary exceptions, the salesmanship, the oxygen of his rise to power, was gone."

Olbermann said Trump needed "a debate knockout." Instead, the incumbent president just appeared "stupid and dull."

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Mary Trump sheds light on the president’s bizarre pattern of psychological projection

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President Donald Trump's niece, psychologist Mary Trump, appeared Friday on CNN to discuss her uncle's behavior during the recent president debate.

CNN host Anderson Cooper noted that Tony Schwartz, who is best known for ghostwriting "Trump: The Art of the Deal," has said "that when the president attacks people, the words he uses, the attacks he wages against other people are really things that are true about himself."

The CNN host said a similar dynamic was at play during the final presidential debate when Trump attacked Biden as being part of an organized crime family.

"It is amazing how much projection there is and I don't know if that's the term," Cooper said.

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Trump gets schooled by a historian for comparing his achievements to Abraham Lincoln’s

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During the final presidential debate on Thursday, President Donald Trump boasted that he had done more for Black Americans than any president since Abraham Lincoln. On Friday, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin appeared on CNN and blasted Trump for his remark.

“The most important thing in a time of crisis is for a president to be willing it take responsibility. One of FDR’s aides once said when things are going on right, people don't have to think a lot about the character demanded by the presidency. He can just stay in that old picture frame,” she told CNN host Chris Cuomo.

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