SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches Lockheed Martin satellite

SpaceX on Sunday successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket, which is carrying a $500 million GPS satellite made by Lockheed Martin, in its first national security mission for the U.S. military.

The blastoff, which had been delayed Tuesday because of an unspecified problem with the rocket and also delayed Saturday because of high winds, lifted off from Florida's Cape Canaveral at 8:51 a.m. ET.

The rocket is carrying a $500 million Lockheed Martin satellite, which could be the first of 32 Lockheed-made ultraprecise navigation satellites made under a combined $12.6 million Air Force contract.

The network of new satellites will be used by both the U.S. military and civilians.

The SUV-size satellite, nicknamed Vespucci after Amerigo Vespucci, the namesake of the Americas, will replace a satellite launched in 1997.

The mission is the final one of this year for SpaceX, which is owned by Elon Musk, and the company’s 21st launch of 2018.