The GPS III SV05 satellite – nicknamed for NASA astronaut Neil Armstrong – launched aboard the 227-foot-tall Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, blasting off at 12:09 p.m. ET.
"We have liftoff! The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the latest GPS III satellite has launched!" the Space Force Space and Missiles Systems Center said, retweeting SpaceX's Twitter video of the moment.
Deployment of the Lockheed Martin-built satellite was confirmed more than an hour and a half later.
It is expected to maneuver into a 12,550-mile-high orbit, according to Spaceflight Now, and join the current constellation of satellites.
Three advanced GPS III missions have previously launched on Falcon 9 rockets over the last couple of years and Space.com reported Thursday that the U.S, military plans to launch a total of 10 upgraded GPS satellites to replace some older ones already in space.
The next-generation satellites will include "new technology and advanced capabilities" and meet the "needs of the military to mitigate threats" to GPS infrastructure, according to Lockheed Martin.
The aerospace defense company said that the satellites are the "most powerful GPS satellite ever built," with three times greater accuracy and up to eight times increased anti-jam protection.
"GPS III was also intentionally created with a modular design so that new technology and capabilities could be added as technology changes or new mission needs change," it noted.
The next GPS III mission – also contracted to the Elon Musk-founded company – is slated for sometime in 2022.
In addition to the satellite, the used rocket flew a payload for the first time.
It was SpaceX's 19th mission this year and its 89th successful booster recovery, with Falcon 9’s first stage landing at around 12:19 p.m. ET on the Just Read the Instructions droneship positioned in the Atlantic Ocean.
In another first, SpaceX's recovery vessel HOS Briarwood would make its debut to recover the payload fairings after they fall back to Earth.
The fairings deployed at 12:14 p.m. ET, according to SpaceX's Twitter account.