Ninth GPS IIF Satellite Launched

The ninth Global Positioning System IIF satellite successfully launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., on March 25, the service announced. “Each new generation of GPS satellites provides enhanced capability over the prior generations, and has delivered reliable performance demonstrating our commitment that GPS remain the gold standard space-based positioning, navigation, and timing service for the future,” said Brig. Gen. Bill Cooley, head of the GPS directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center at Los Angeles AFB, Calif., in a March 25 release. The Boeing-built satellite reached orbit just over three hours after launch and “sent signals confirming its health,” according to a company release. “Boeing, ULA, and the Air Force successfully launched four GPS IIFs last year, the highest operations tempo in over 20 years, and today’s mission marks the first of three launches planned in 2015,” said Dan Hart, vice president, Boeing Government Space Systems. “As they enter service, the IIFs are advancing and modernizing the GPS constellation by improving accuracy, signal strength, and anti-jamming capability. We are also introducing the L-5 civilian ‘safety-of-life’ signal intended mainly for aviation and transportation.”