GPS Block IIF Satellite on Station

The first Global Positioning System Block IIF satellite has arrived at its designated on-orbit station, Air Force space officials announced Tuesday. This means the spacecraft is ready for its final phase of on-orbit checkout and testing before it is cleared to assume operations as part of the 30-satellite GPS constellation, they said. The Air Force placed the Boeing-built satellite into space on May 27. It began transmitting its L5 civil safety-of-life signal in June as part of its checkout. The spacecraft reached its station on Aug. 1, according to the space officials. Its testing is expected to conclude before the end of August, they said. Among the features of the Block IIF design are improved accuracy and a more robust military signal. Boeing is building 12 Block IIF spacecraft for the Air Force. (Los Angeles release)