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Delta II launches flawlessly

1st. Lt. Josh Hall (left) of the 1st Space Launch Squadron and Capt. Bill Bakker of the 45th Launch Support Squadron with the Delta II booster they helped launch March 15 from Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

1st. Lt. Josh Hall (left) of the 1st Space Launch Squadron and Capt. Bill Bakker of the 45th Launch Support Squadron with the Delta II booster they helped launch March 15 from Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta II booster carrying the sixth modernized NAVSTAR Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite into space Saturday at 2:10 a.m. from Space Launch Complex 17A here.

The satellite will join the constellation of on-orbit satellites providing global coverage and increased performance of the GPS services to users worldwide. The modernized series delivers increased signal power to receivers on the ground, two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption and anti-jamming capabilities for the military, and a second civil signal to provide users with an open access signal on a different frequency.

"The launch of another GPS satellite provides our warfighters a system on which they can depend to complete their missions successfully," said Brig. Gen. Susan Helms, 45th Space Wing commander.

GPS is the world's foremost space-based positioning and navigation system. Endeavors such as mapping, aerial refueling, rendezvous operations, geodetic surveying and search and rescue operations have all benefited from GPS's accuracy.

The GPS constellation provides critical situational awareness and precision weapon guidance for the military and supports a wide range of civil, scientific and commercial functions - from air traffic control to the Internet - with precision location and timing information. Every satellite in the constellation was launched from here.

"From an engineering standpoint, the processing flow of this mission went very smoothly," said 1st Lt. Cory Broussard, Delta II Booster Operations Controller, 1st Space Launch Squadron. "It's great to be a part of the Global Positioning System team launching a satellite that can help service members and civilian users around the world."