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GPS III SV06 launched

January 18, 2023  - By

GPS III Space Vehicle 06 (SV06) was launched Jan. 18 from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida at 7:24 a.m. EST. It is the 18th GPS satellite to broadcast the L5 signal. On Jan. 12, the Space Force Space Systems Command (SSC) had completed encapsulation of SV06 within the Falcon 9 payload.

The launch of SV06 contributed to the SSC’s objective to create resilient GPS, which ensures all users have access to stable positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. SV06, also known as SVN-79, will go through extensive on orbit testing after being introduced into the operational constellation on or about Jan. 25.

Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the main contractor for the GPS III SV06 space vehicle and SpaceX provided launch services. This is Falcon 9’s fifth GPS launch since SpaceX launched GPS III-2 in December 2018.

SV06 is named after the daring pilot Amelia Earhart — the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and to attempt to circumnavigate the world.

The next launch — GPSIII-07 — will take place in 2024.

Constellation Changes. The U.S Space Force Second Space Operations Squadron (2 SOPS) indicates that GPSIII-06, SVN-79/PRN-28, will expand the A2 node in the A plane.  It will be identified as position A2F in the vicinity of SVN-52.

SVN-41/PRN-22, forecast unusable until further notice (FCSTUUFN) on Jan. 23, is being set unhealthy and will be used as a test vehicle in AEP.

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