Control of GPS III SV05 transferred to 2 SOPS

July 7, 2021  - By
Photo: U.S. Space Force

GPS III SV05 (nicknamed Armstrong) was launched on June 17. (Photo: U.S. Space Force)

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) transferred Satellite Control Authority of the GPS III SV05 to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever (2 SOPS) Air Force Base on June 28. The fifth GPS III satellite — nicknamed Armstrong —was launched into space on June 17.

On June 29, GPS III SV05 received Operational Acceptance approval, marking the first GPS III SV to receive SCA handover and Operational Acceptance within 24 hours and decreasing the time from launch to on-orbit operational capability by 97 percent.

In 2020, the GPS enterprise launched two GPS III SVs in the midst of a global pandemic. According to Los Angeles Air Force Base, home of SMC, the delivery time from launch to Operational Acceptance approval has continued to shrink, with innovation and teamwork across the GPS enterprise enhancing rapid identification and elimination of redundant on-orbit verification steps.

Launch of SV05 was the first National Security Space Launch on a previously flown Falcon 9 booster, reusing the same booster that delivered GPS III SV04 to orbit in November 2020.

GPS III SV05 joins a constellation of 31 operational satellites. “The inclusion of GPS III SV05 into the operational constellation marks another significant milestone for the enterprise with 24 M-code capable satellites,” said Colonel Heather J. Anderson, transition director.

The Lockheed Martin-built GPS III SVs provide improved accuracy, advanced anti-jam capabilities, and increased resiliency for the GPS constellation and 4 billion users worldwide. GPS III SV05 will be set healthy to all global users in September, following the completion of on-orbit testing.

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About the Author: Tracy Cozzens

Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.