Earlier this week, SpaceFlightNow reported that SpaceX made their first successful launch with a military payload. The Falcon 9 rocket carried a GPS satellite with the nickname "Vespucci" into orbit. Unlike most Falcon 9 missions, SpaceX didn't try to recover the rocket's first stage, as the heavy payload reportedly required the full capability of the rocket, and the U.S. military requires rockets carrying sensitive payloads to de-orbit their upper stages "if possible." This was SpaceX's 21st launch this year, smashing the company's previous record of 18 launches in one year. Check out SpaceX's stream of the launch here. "Merry Christmas, GPS," a member of SpaceX's launch team announced at liftoff... Air Force officials told reporters earlier this month that later Falcon 9 launches with GPS satellites might include first stage landings, but managers would not commit to such a decision before evaluating the rocket's performance on Sunday's mission... SpaceX has launched a handful of missions for U.S. national security customers, including a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office and an Air Force X-37B space plane in 2017, but those launches were booked separately from the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, or EELV, program. SpaceX's Falcon rocket family and the Atlas and Delta rocket fleets operated by rival United Launch Alliance are currently certified by the Air Force to compete for EELV-class missions, which include the military's most costly and highest-priority satellites.