The final GPS Block IIF satellite built by the Boeing Co. was despatched into orbit for the U.S. Air Power at this time, filling out a set of a dozen.
United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket carried the three,500-pound GPS IIF-12 satellite into area from Cape Canaveral Air Power Station in Florida at first of at this time’s launch window, at 8:38 a.m. ET (5:38 a.m. PT). Hours later, the rocket’s Centaur higher stage put the satellite into a 12,700-mile-high orbit.
Immediately’s launch was the primary one of many 12 months for United Launch Alliance, which is a Boeing-Lockheed Martin three way partnership.
The 12 Block IIF satellites are a part of the Air Power’s International Positioning System constellation, which supplies navigation knowledge for customers worldwide. These customers vary from Air Force controllers calling in air strikes to drivers, sailors and hikers trying to figure out how to get where they want to go.
The primary Block IIF satellite was despatched into orbit in 2010. Now that the set is full, the Air Power is looking forward to the primary Block III satellite, which is predicted to launch subsequent 12 months for the GPS-3 constellation. The following-generation satellites will present enhancements in accuracy and reliability for civilian navigation, plus upgraded anti-jamming and safety capabilities for army indicators.
Lockheed Martin gained the contract to construct the Block IIIA satellites for the Air Power. GPS-3 satellites are anticipated to be put into orbit by United Launch Alliance or SpaceX. Over the previous few months, the bidding course of for GPS-3 launch contracts has become the focus of debate between ULA and the Pentagon.