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GPS III SV-05 encapsulated ahead of June 17 launch

June 11, 2021  - By

The fifth GPS III satellite was encapsulated within a SpaceX payload fairing on June 9 in preparation for its June 17 launch.

The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle 05 satellite was encapsulated within a SpaceX payload fairing at Astrotech Space Operations Florida facility on June 9 in preparation for launch, scheduled for June 17 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The 15-minute launch window opens 12:09 p.m. EDT. If SpaceX provides a live feed to view the launch, it will be available here.

Encapsulation of the satellite within the payload fairing protects the satellite from the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during its harrowing journey through the earth’s atmosphere, and supports the ability to communicate with the satellite until separation from the launch vehicle on orbit.

“The GPS III program continues to make strides in modernizing the GPS constellation for the United States Space Force, maintaining the ‘gold standard’ for position, navigation and timing,” said Col. Edward Byrne, Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems division chief, “SV05 is not only the first-ever USSF satellite launched on a previously flown booster, but also is the 24th military-code (M-xode) satellite introduced to our constellation, the last needed to bring M-code to full operational capability.”

GPS III SV05 will join the current 31-satellite operational constellation to continue to provide the gold standard in positioning, navigation and timing services for more than four billion users worldwide.

The Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Space Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the development of advanced space and launch capability and systems, global navigation satellite systems, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

GPS III SV05 is encapsulated within a SpaceX payload fairing at Astrotech Space Operations Florida in preparation for its June 17 launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

GPS III SV05 is encapsulated within a SpaceX payload fairing at Astrotech Space Operations Florida in preparation for its June 17 launch. (Photo: Lockheed Martin)

 

 

About the Author:


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.

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