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Global Positioning Systems (GPS) III Satellite
WATCH REPLAY: Christmas had finally come a little earlier when the US Air Force and its mission partners successfully launched the first Global Positioning Systems (GPS) Satellite III 23. December at 8:51 am EST (14:51 UTC), 5:51 am Pacific, from the Space Launch Complex-40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
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BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL, FLORIDA – Christmas had finally arrived earlier than the US Air Force and its mission partners arrived on December 23 at 08:51 EST ( 14:51 EST) successfully launched the first Global Positioning Systems (GPS) III satellite, launched at 05:51 Pacific, from the Space Launch Complex-40 of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The satellite built by Lockheed Martin, named in honor of Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer, known as "Vespucci" to those who were named Americans, was brought aboard a space exploration. N Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) Falcon 9 Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle after three previous launch attempts on December 18, December 20, and December 22 had been thwarted due to weather or technical issues.
"The launch is always a monumental event This is particularly the case as it is the first GPS satellite of its generation to be launched with National Security's first Space Security mission. As more GPS III satellites join the constellation, it will result in a technology that is now fully interwoven into the fabric of every modern civilization, "said Lt. Gen. John F. Thompson, Commander of Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program officer for Space.
"GPS holds the gold standard for positioning, navigation and timing information and gives secure access when and where it matters – this event was a highlight, but it does not mean we're done will perform a series of checkout and testing procedures to ensure that all of Vespucci's functions are as they were designed. "
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The" Vespucci "from GPS III was separated from its upper tier at 10:59 pm EST (15:50 UTC, 7:50 am Pacific), about two hours and eight minutes after take off. Engineers and Operators at Lockheed Martin's Waterton plant are now beginning testing and testing, which is expected to be completed in six months. Operational use is expected to start in about a year.
"Today's start would not have been possible without the teamwork of committed experts. I'm very proud of their performance, "said Col. Steve Whitney, Director of GPS Directorate. "Today's launch is the beginning of the GPS III era, providing more opportunities for our military and civilian users worldwide."
Vespucci will reinforce the current GPS constellation with 31 operational spacecraft. GPS satellites are operated in six medium-orbit aircraft at a height of approximately 20,200 km (12,550 miles).
Each satellite orbits the earth twice a day. GPS provides the "gold standard" for positioning, navigation and timing services for billions of users worldwide. GPS III, the latest generation of GPS satellites. It offers users new features, including threefold accuracy and up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities.
"The first GPS III launch marks an important milestone for the GPS constellation and our partnership with SpaceX." said Colonel Robert Bongiovi, director of SMC Launch Enterprise.
"This introduction demonstrated the successful teamwork and collaboration among all mission partners to deliver the capabilities our warfighter needs. I'm proud of my team and look forward to our additional National Security Space missions with SpaceX.
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The GPS III Vespucci team is headed by SMC's Global Positioning Systems Directorate in New York. Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Corporation is the prime contractor for satellite vehicles.
The launch was led by the Launch Enterprise Directorate of the Space and Missile Systems Center and was on the SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher at Cape Canaveral AFS. The 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron of Air Force Space Command operate the GPS constellation of Schriever AFB, Colorado.
SMC is the US Air Force's center of competence for the acquisition and development of military space systems. The portfolio includes GPS, military satellite communications, meteorological defense satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, spaceborne infra-red systems, and space-based reconnaissance capabilities.
As the US enters a new era with the Declaration of Space As a warfighting domain, SMC is being redesigned as part of "SMC 2.0" work to manage other major US acquisition initiatives that create new industry partnerships, To build allies and DOD partners to promote innovation within the US space companies and accelerate the provision of new capabilities for warfighters.
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