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News > USAF Launches Fifth GPS Block IIF satellite aboard Delta IV
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Delta IV GPS IIF-5 launch
A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket successfully launched the Global Positioning System IIF-5 satellite for the U.S. Air Force on Feb. 20 at 8:59 p.m. EST from Space Launch Complex-37. GPS IIF-5 is the fifth in a series of next generation GPS satellites and will join a worldwide timing and navigation system utilizing 24 satellites in six different planes, with a minimum of four satellites per plane positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 miles above the Earth’s surface. (Photo by Ben Cooper, United Launch Alliance)
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USAF Launches Fifth GPS Block IIF satellite aboard Delta IV

Posted 2/20/2014   Updated 2/20/2014 Email story   Print story


by 45th Space Wing Public Affairs

2/20/2014 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla.  -- The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket carrying the fifth Global Positioning System IIF satellite at 8:59 p.m. EST Feb. 20, from Space Launch Complex 37 here.

The GPS Block IIF satellites are built by Boeing, and are operated by the United States Air Force following their launch by United Launch Alliance, using Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.

The first GPS IIF satellite was launched on May 27, 2010, and entered service on Aug. 26, 2010.

The second satellite, which launched on July 16, 2011, entered service on Aug. 22, 2011.

The third satellite launched on Oct. 4, 2012, and entered service 22 days later.

The fourth IIF was launched May 15, 2013, and entered service on June 21, 2013.

Every modern GPS satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

GPS is a space-based, world-wide navigation system providing users with highly accurate, three-dimensional position, velocity and timing information 24 hours a day in all weather conditions.

Each GPS IIF satellite delivers:

-- Greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology,

-- A new civilian L5 signal to aid commercial aviation and search and rescue operations,

-- Improved military signal and variable power for better resistance to jamming in hostile environments,

-- A 12-year design life providing long-term service and reduced operating costs,

-- An on-orbit, reprogrammable processor that can receive software uploads for improved system operation.

"Once again, a group of talented mission partners rose to the challenge of launching another successful mission from the Cape," said Col. Douglas Schiess, commander, 45th Operations Group, who served as the Launch Decision Authority. "Those mission partners include the 45th Space Wing, the Space and Missile Systems Center, the 50th Space Wing, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, and our other industry partners with the Delta IV and GPS IIF launch teams."

The mission of the 45th Space Wing is One Team...Delivering Assured Space Launch, Range and Combat Capabilities for the Nation.

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