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HAWTHORNE (CBSLA) — Hawthorne-based SpaceX will make another attempt Thursday to launch a U.S. Space Force GPS satellite from Cape Canaveral.

SpaceX will attempt to launch the satellite Thursday, after multiple scrubbed missions, with liftoff scheduled for 3:24 p.m.

Following the launch from Cape Canaveral, SpaceX will again attempt to land the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket being used in the mission on a barge — dubbed “Of Course I Still Love You” — in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Florida.

The launch of the GPS III Space Vehicle 04 has already been delayed multiple times. A scheduled launch was delayed in late September due to the competing scheduling of a United Launch Alliance mission for the National Reconnaissance Office.

Another launch attempt on On Oct. 2 was scrubbed just two seconds before liftoff.

If successful, the U.S. Space Force launch will be the third National Security Space Launch by a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

The GPS satellite will be added to an array that already includes 31 satellites orbiting at a rough altitude of 12,550 miles above the Earth.

“Our GPS III team is excited to be here once again,” Col. Edward Byrne, Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems Division chief, said in a statement ahead of the original September launch date. “Less than three months ago, we successfully launched GPS III SV03. Since then, the team has successfully delivered the satellite to its final orbit, performed on-orbit testing and delivered the satellite to operations, while executing a mature satellite production line. I can’t be more proud of everyone involved in this mission.

“The launch of GPS III SV04 will continue to modernize our GPS constellation by increasing our capabilities with advanced features for both our civil and military users across the world,” he said.

(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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Creepy curved space robot does ‘the impossible’ and ‘defies laws of physics’

A CREEPY curved space robot does “the impossible” and defies laws of physics”, which could mean new technologic discoveries in locomotion. 

The robot, engineered at the Georgia Institute of Technology, reportedly defies the law of motion “that a stationary object cannot move without exchanging momentum with its environment.”

2A team of engineers created a robot that 'defies the laws of physics'Credit: Georgia Tech

The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS]. 

Instead of flat mechanisms, the robot makes use of curved space. 

“We let our shape-changing object move on the simplest curved space, a sphere, to systematically study the motion in curved space,” said lead researcher Zeb Rocklin.

“We learned that the predicted effect, which was so counter-intuitive it was dismissed by some physicists, indeed occurred: as the robot changed its shape, it inched forward around the sphere in a way that could not be attributed to environmental interactions.”

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To make sure the effects of the curved parts were dominated, the team had to isolate the robot as much as possible from outside forces. 

This was done to ensure little interaction or a change of momentum with the environment. 

The curved space was created by placing a set of motors drive on curved tracks, which were then attached to a rotating shaft to create a spherical space. 

To alleviate friction, air bearings and bushings were used and gravity was lowered by aligning the rotating shaft with the Earth’s gravity. 

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The robot was only slightly affected by friction and gravity but both seemed to cross-breed with its curved parts, producing a strange dynamic that could not have been created on its own. 

Rocklin hopes the methods used by the team will lead to more experimental investigations of curved space. 

He believes it can be used to eventually navigate the highly curved space around black holes. 

“This research also relates to the ‘Impossible Engine’ study,” said Rocklin. 

“Its creator claimed that it could move forward without any propellant. That engine was indeed impossible, but because spacetime is very slightly curved, a device could actually move forward without any external forces or emitting a propellant – a novel discovery.”

2Zeb Rocklin hopes the methods used by the team will lead to more experimental investigations of curved spaceCredit: Georgia Tech

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