Published: May 28, 2010 4:34 PM EDT
Updated: May 28, 2010 1:34 PM EDT

 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - After a delay of several days because of technical issues, a Delta 4 rocket has rumbled into the sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station carrying a GPS satellite.

Officials said the military craft that blasted off Thursday night would be used for national security and navigation. It's the first of a new generation of Global Positioning System satellites going into orbit.

A dozen such Boeing-built satellites will be launched over the next several years to replace 20-year-old satellites now in service.

This will be the first GPS mission to launch on a Delta 4, after 49 missions launched atop the smaller Delta 2 between 1989 and 2009. Future GPS spacecraft will be lifted into orbit on the Delta 4, on the Atlas 4 and on ULA's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle.