Headlines > News > United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches GPS IIF-12 Satellite for U.S. Air Force

United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches GPS IIF-12 Satellite for U.S. Air Force

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Feb 5, 2016 11:18 pm via: ULA
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The launch marks ULA’s first launch for 2016 and the final launch of the GPS IIF block.

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., – United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched its first mission of the year with an Atlas V rocket carrying the Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-12 satellite for the U.S. Air Force. The rocket lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on Feb. 5 at 8:38 a.m. EST.

GPS IIF-12 is the final satellite in the IIF-block of satellites, which are the next-generation GPS satellites that incorporate numerous improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals and enhanced performance for users. This mission was ULA’s 104th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.

“Congratulations to the ULA, Boeing and Air Force teams on the successful launch of GPS IIF-12.  We began launching the IIF satellites in May 2010 and have appreciated the outstanding teamwork of everyone involved as we have worked together to deliver all 12 IIF satellites. This system provides incredible capabilities to our women and men in uniform while enabling so many technologies that impact all of our daily lives. We are proud to be GPS’s ride to space,” said Laura Maginnis, ULA vice president, Custom Services.

The mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by the Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine.

Today’s flight utilizes a newly designed suite of avionics, flight software and ground systems. This upgraded command and control system was designed to reduce cost and improve reliability.

ULA’s next launch is the Delta IV NROL-45 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office, scheduled for Feb. 10 from Space Launch Complex-6 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

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