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9th-generation GPS satellite blasts off from ‘The Cape’

9th-generation GPS satellite blasts off from ‘The Cape’

 CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — The Air Force and the 45th Space Wing supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket that roared to life from Launch Complex 37, March 25, 2015, carrying the Air Force’s ninth Block IIF-09 navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System at 2:36 p.m. EDT.

This launch is the fourth ULA launch this year and the 95th launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

GPS IIF-09 launched aboard a Delta IV Medium-plus (4,2) Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle, using a single ULA common booster core powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RS-68 main engine, along with two ATK GEM 60 solid rocket motors.

The upper stage was powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10B-2 engine with the
satellite encapsulated in a four-meter diameter composite payload fairing.

This launch marks the 29th Delta IV launch and the 57th operational GPS satellite to launch on a ULA or heritage launch vehicle. Delta IV has delivered numerous satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), as well as GPS satellites for the Air Force and weather satellites for NASA, according to a ULA media release.

Once again, the 45th Space Wing team of military personnel, government civilians, and contractors provided support to the ULA launch of the Air Force Space Command mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety, and public affairs.

Created by the Department of Defense to enhance military warfighting capability, GPS is available for use, free of charge, to anyone with a GPS receiver. U.S. and allied military forces use GPS devices in virtually every system to improve their capabilities and effectiveness while reducing risk to their forces and non-combatants. From finance to farming to tracking packages, use by the civilian community continues to grow rapidly and new commercial applications are continuously being developed.

The GPS IIF system brings next-generation performance to the constellation. The GPS IIF vehicle is critical to national security and sustaining GPS constellation availability for global civil, commercial and defense applications. Besides sustaining the GPS constellation, IIF features more capability and improved mission performance.

 

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Source:: Air Force Space Command