A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV Medium rocket launched the second Global Positioning System III (GPS III SV02) satellite, nicknamed Magellan, for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center (USAF SMC) on Aug. 22.
The launch took place at 9:06 a.m. EDT (1306 GMT) from Space Launch Complex-37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) in Florida.
“Thank you to the team and our mission partners for the tremendous teamwork as we processed and launched this critical asset, providing advanced capabilities for warfighters, civil users, and humankind across the globe,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “We are proud of the strong legacy of the Delta IV Medium program, and look forward to the future with our purpose-built Vulcan Centaur.”
The GPS III system, built by Lockheed Martin, 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. Lockheed Martin is under contract to develop and build up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites for the U.S. Air Force.
This mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter Payload Fairing and stands at 207 ft. The common booster core for Delta IV is powered by the RS-68A engine, and the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage is powered by the RL10B-2 engine, both supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne. Northrop Grumman provided the two solid rocket motors.
GPS III SV02 is the 29th and final flight of the Delta IV Medium rocket and the 73rd GPS launch by a ULA or heritage vehicle. ULA has a track record of 100% mission success with 135 successful launches.
ULA’s next launch is Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner, Orbital Flight Test, aboard an Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.