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GPS IIF-6 Satellite Ready for Launch

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --  GPS IIF satellite. (USAF Graphic)

GPS IIF satellite

LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- The U.S. Air Force is scheduled to launch the sixth Boeing built Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta IV launch vehicle from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., May 15. The launch window opens at 8:08 p.m. EDT, and will remain open for 18 minutes.

"The 45th and 50th Space wings, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, and the GPS IIF and Delta IV program teams at SMC are working together to make this a successful launch," said Col. Bill Cooley, director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's Global Positioning Systems Directorate.

The satellite marks the second launch of a GPS satellite this year and thesixth of 12 GPS IIF satellites. The first five GPS IIF satellites are currently on-orbit and meeting all mission requirements. Of the remaining seven still to be launched, one is being prepared for launch, one is being prepared for shipment to Cape Canaveral AFS, four are in storage and one is completing production. The Boeing built GPS IIF satellites provide vital support to users while adding a new civil signal (L5) for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, improved navigational accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, and a longer design life than its predecessor.

"The GPS constellation is reliably serving global users with the most accurate and robust signals ever, and the navigation, timing accuracy and availability will improve as the GPS modernization efforts continue," said Col. Cooley. "GPS is the most widely used and accepted system of its kind in the world today, and we stand ready to launch GPS IIF-6," he said.

While GPS is a military-procured and operated satellite constellation, it is recognized as a global utility. The typical GPS user has a receiver in their phone or in their car; however, GPS has become more than a system to help users get from point A to point B; it also plays an important role in everything from aiding disaster relief operations to making electrical power distribution more efficient. The agriculture community relies on GPS signals for precise positioning to optimize use of seeds, fertilizer and water. The United States provides this precise position, navigation and timing service free of charge to billions of users around the globe.

The Air Force Space Command's Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif., is the U.S. Air Force's center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the Global Positioning System, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space based infrared systems and space situational awareness capabilities.

Media representatives who would like to submit questions or interview a subject matter expert about the GPS satellite program should send an e-mail to smcpa.media@us.af.mil or call 310-653-2377.