The 10th Boeing [NYSE: BA] GPS IIF satellite has reached orbit and sent its first signals after being launched earlier today. This satellite advances the U.S. Air Force’s modernization program for GPS, improving accuracy and enhancing security for the navigation system used by millions of people around the world every day.
The Boeing-built GPS IIFs are the newest generation of GPS satellites, delivering a longer design life, greater accuracy, increased signal power for civil applications, a more robust military M-code signal and variable power for better jamming resistance. The IIFs also are outfitted with the new civilian L-5 signal which, when fully operational, will be used for emergency applications.
"The GPS IIF-10 launch milestone continues a series of recent unparalleled successes for the GPS IIF program,” said Dan Hart, vice president, Boeing Government Space Systems. “We understand the importance of this system to the global community, both civil and military, and the government-Boeing team is partnering to assure mission success and operational excellence."
GPS IIF-10 lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V expendable launch vehicle at 11:36 a.m. EDT. About three hours and 23 minutes later, the spacecraft was released into its medium earth orbit of about 12,000 miles.
Boeing will support the Air Force in performing on-orbit checkout of GPS IIF-10 before it is formally declared operational in about one month. The next GPS satellite, GPS IIF-11, was shipped to Cape Canaveral on June 8 in preparation for the third and final IIF launch of 2015 later this fall.