GPS III Program Thrusts Forward

Lockheed Martin delivered the propulsion core module for the first GPS III satellite to the company’s facility in Denver, representing the first major hardware delivery for the space vehicle, announced the company. The module, which arrived from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Hancock County, Miss., contains the satellite’s integrated propulsion system and will serve as the spaceraft’s backbone, states the company’s Sept. 24 release. This component is vital to maneuvering the satellite during orbital transfer to its final location and for conducting on-orbit repositioning maneuvers, states the release. “The delivery of the propulsion core demonstrates that this program is on firm footing and poised to deliver on its commitments,” said Lt Col Todd Caldwell, the Air Force’s GPS III program manager. In the current “challenging budget environment,” the Air Force is focused on efficient program execution, he added. Keoki Jackson, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Navigation Systems mission area, said the company is “on track to deliver the first satellite for launch availability in 2014.”