An U.S. Air Force Global Positioning Systems satellite built by Boeing was successfully launched today. The third GPS IIF satellite, Space Vehicle Number 65, was carried aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV Launch Vehicle at 8:10 a.m., EDT, Oct. 4 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
Today’s launch marks the first launch of a GPS satellite this year. SVN-65 will assume position A-1, replacing SVN-39 which will be moved to another auxiliary position in the A-plane. The satellite is expected to be set healthy for navigation users approximately 90 days after launch to conduct an extended navigation signal test.
“We, of course, are incredibly pleased with the successful outcome of today’s launch. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the 45th and 50th Space wings, United Launch Alliance, our industry partners, and the Delta IV and GPS IIF launch teams, this morning’s launch was flawlessly executed. The talented group of individuals carried out the GPS IIF-3 mission with great diligence and professionalism,” said Col. Bernie Gruber, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate.
Since its inception, GPS has progressed from an idea, to a prototype, into a reality. “It’s an amazing component of today’s technical capabilities and culture, and shows how important our space systems have become to our defense and to our way of life. An incredible number of people around the globe use and depend daily upon GPS and we are proud to serve and provide this service to the nation and our allies,” said Gruber. The new capabilities of the IIF satellites will provide greater navigational accuracy; a more robust signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, known as the new third civil signal (L5); and a 12-year design life providing long-term service. These upgrades improve anti-jam capabilities for the war fighter and improve security for military and civil users around the world.
The Air Force, as the developer, operator, and steward of GPS is committed to maintaining GPS as the “Gold Standard” for providing accurate, reliable and continuous positioning, navigation and timing information to users around the globe.