CGSIC Bulletin: GPSIII-05 SVN-78/PRN-11 Upcoming Launch

Date/Site/Launch Time: Thursday, June 17th, 2021, GPSIII-05 (SVN-78/PRN-11 will launch from Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.  A 15-minute launch window opens at 1209 pm Eastern Daylight Time (1609-1624 UTC).

Rocket/Payload: SpaceX Falcon 9 reused booster. GPSIII-05 mission for the U.S. Space Force.

It should be noted that the Space Force will be performing an extended navigation test with SVN-78/PRN-11 so the satellite is not expected to be set healthy to users until sometime in September 2021.

Constellation Changes: The U.S Space Force Second Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) indicates that GPSIII-05, SVN-78/PRN-11, will replace SVN-61/PRN-28 in the D plane at slot D1.  SVN-61 will be re-phased to optimize its position in the D plane.  GPSIII-4/SVN77/PRN-14, launched 05 November 2020 was set healthy on 02 December 2020 replacing SVN-44/PRN-28 at B3.  SVN-44/PRN-28 was moved to GLAN 31.64 to optimize its position within B-Plane.  On 10 November 2020, SVN-46 was moved into a residual status in LADO making PRN-11 available for use on SVN-78.  SVN-46, launched on 07 October of 1999, has been an “Iron Bird” workhorse in the D-plane and has successfully served the world’s GPS users for over 20 years. This is over 12 years past its designed service life, having operationally outlasted (and in many cases, outperformed) many of its peers on-orbit, testament to quality engineering and the diligent efforts of the men and women of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force.