Weapons-Guiding Military Satellite Launches Into Space

A rocket carrying a GPS satellite to better guide military weapons was launched into space Thursday.

The Delta 2 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 3:04 p.m. with the modernized NAVSTAR Global Positioning System Block 2R military navigation satellite aboard for the U.S. Air Force.

The satellite is part of a constellation of 24 and one of eight that were modernized to more precisely guide weapons and a variety of civilian applications.

Powered by a solar panel that can produce up to 800 watts of power, the 4,540-pound satellite is expected to circle the earth for up to a decade before becoming obsolete.