Saturday, September 19, 2020

U.S. Space Force delivered fourth GPS III satellite to Cape Canaveral

On 6 August, the U.S. Space Force has announced that it has shipped fourth Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV04) to Cape Canaveral.

The U.S. Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center successfully delivered the fourth Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, July 14.

GPS III Space Vehicle (SV) 04 was safely transported from the Lockheed Martin facility in Waterton, Colorado to Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida. The satellite was carried aboard a C-17 Globemaster III originating from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

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The delivery of GPS III SV04 starts the clock for final testing and checkout prior to launch. The satellite will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Florida to ensure the full functionality of the satellite, prepare the satellite for propellant loading, and encapsulate the satellite in its protective fairing. At the completion of these activities, the satellite will be horizontally integrated with the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.

 “The shipment of the fourth GPS III satellite was successfully conducted just two weeks after the launch of our GPS III-SV03 satellite. This operation is a remarkable achievement and testament to the hard work of the entire GPS team members from all across the country,” said Col. Edward Byrne, SMC’s Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems Division chief. “The delivery of SV04 marks the start of our third GPS III launch campaign on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and brings us another step closer in advancing the GPS constellation with more capable satellites.”

GPS III SV04 is slated to launch in September 2020. Once on-orbit, it will join the operational constellation of 31 GPS satellites, delivering enhanced resiliency, better accuracy, and advanced anti-jam capabilities. GPS delivers the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, and underpins critical financial institutions, transportation services, and agricultural industries.

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Executive Editor

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