SpaceX on Sunday successfully launched an American military navigation satellite on board a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The launch took place at 8.51 am local time (7.21 pm India time) and put into space the United States Air Force’s first Global Positioning System III space vehicle.

The satellite was deployed to its intended orbit around 1 hour and 56 minutes after liftoff.

The launch marked the space transportation company’s first national security space mission for the US. Over the last week, four scheduled launches were cancelled due to weather and technical issues. According to the US Air Force, the launch was originally scheduled for 2014 but was pushed ahead due to production delays, Reuters reported.

According to SpaceX, the satellite, built by Lockheed Martin Corp at a cost of around $500 million, delivers positioning, navigation, and timing services to support critical American operations around the world.

The launch is a significant victory for SpaceX, founded and owned by Elon Musk. In 2014, the privately-owned company had sued the US Air Force after the military awarded a contract for 36 rocket launches to the United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing Aircraft and Lockheed. SpaceX dropped the lawsuit in 2015 after the Air Force agreed to consider other competitors.

The next year, SpaceX won a contract to launch the GPS III satellite, which has a lifespan of 15 years. The company has an additional four GPS III missions on contract, all of which will be launched on board its Falcon 9 rockets.

Lockheed spokesperson Chip Eschenfelder said SpaceX’s launch is the first in a series of 32 satellites currently under production at Lockheed for the GPS III programme. The next satellite is scheduled for launch in the middle of 2019.