Headlines > News > USAF launches first GPS Block IIF satellite aboard Delta IV

USAF launches first GPS Block IIF satellite aboard Delta IV

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri May 28, 2010 11:24 am via: USAF
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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. — The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium rocket carrying the first Global Positioning System IIF satellite at 11:00 p.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex 37 here.

“The 45th Space Wing, Space and Missile Systems Center, GPS Wing, Boeing and United Launch Alliance team are proud to launch the first installment of the GPS Block IIF,” said Col Andre Lovett, Space Wing vice commander, who served as Launch Decision Authority. “This mission proves our dedication to deliver space effects that benefit, protect and defend our nation.”

The mission marked a number of important firsts.

“Not only is it the first IIF to be launched, this is the first GPS satellite to ride on the Delta IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle,” said Lt. Col. Lance Jones, 5th Space Launch Squadron director of operations. “The IIF system brings next-generation performance to the GPS constellation.”

The GPS IIF vehicle is critical to U.S. national security and sustaining GPS constellation availability for global civil, commercial and defense applications. Besides sustaining the GPS constellation, IIF features increased capability and improved mission performance and longevity.

The launch was the 10th flight of a Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS. It was the fourth launch of an evolved expendable launch vehicle and the seventh launch this year on the Eastern Range.

“We’ve asked the proud men and women of the 5th to operate at its fastest tempo ever and they have answered the call without missing a single beat,” said Colonel Jones, who served as Air Force Launch Director for the mission. “With another successful launch, our government and industry team will carry the momentum from this year to next and continue to successfully deliver national assets on orbit.”

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