On August 22nd, the Air Force plans to launch the second satellite in the Block III series of modernized GPS spacecraft with entry into the operational constellation planned for Spring 2020. The Air Force has 10 GPS III satellites in development and has awarded a contract for GPSIII SV-11 through SV-32. GPS III features new clocks, L1C (a new civil signal), and other upgrades for enhanced accuracy and robustness. Currently, there are 31 GPS satellites in operational service, including 12 Block IIF satellites and 19 spacecraft from previous generations. To learn more about the GPS constellation, go to www.GPS.gov. GPS III SVs will be launched and checked out using the new ground control software, GPS Next Generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 0. This OCX Block 0 system, also known as the GPS III Launch and Checkout System (LCS), completed end-to-end factory mission readiness testing with the first GPS III satellite to ensure seamless operation and successfully performed GPS III SV-01 launch and early orbit checkout. Successful completion of these tests provided a high level of confidence for the satellite’s ability to survive the launch environment, reach its operational orbit, and perform its mission.
Delta IV to Launch GPS III SV02
- Rocket: Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) • Mission: Global Positioning System III SV-2 • Launch Date: Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019 • Launch Time: The 27-minute launch window opens at 9 a.m. EDT • Live Broadcast: 8:40 a.m. EDT ( https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/delta-iv-gps-iii-sv-2 ) • Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-37, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Mission Information: United Launch Alliance will use a Delta IV rocket to launch the second Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. GPS III represents the next step in modernization of the worldwide navigation network with a new generation of advanced satellites offering improved accuracy, better anti-jam resiliency and a new signal for civil users.
Launch Notes: GPS III SV02 will be the 29th and final flight of the Delta IV Medium rocket, the 73rd GPS launch by a ULA or heritage vehicle and marks ULA’s 135th mission. Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch ; hashtags #DeltaIV #GPSIIISV02.
Constellation Changes: The Air Force Second Space Operations Squadron (2SOPS) indicates that GPS III SV02, SVN-75/PRN-52, will replace SVN-45/PRN-21 in the D plane slot 3. The GLAN is (D-3, 11.37 degrees).