[Via Satellite 11-02-2015] United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched the U.S. Air Force’s Global Positioning System (GPS) 2F 11 satellite Oct. 31 aboard an Atlas 5 rocket. The satellite is the 11th of 12 Boeing-built GPS 2F satellites, which provide improved signals for military and civil applications.
The Air Force’s GPS constellation is comprised of two GPS 2As, 12 GPS 2Rs, seven GPS 2R-Ms, and 10 GPS 2F satellites on orbit, providing precise global positioning, navigation, and timing services to users around the globe. GPS 2F satellites include the new operational third civil signal, L5, that benefits commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications, improved accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, and a longer design life than previous GPS satellites.
GPS 2F 11 was ULA’s 11th launch in 2015 and the 102nd successful launch since the Boeing-Lockheed Martin joint venture formed in December 2006. ULA also recently won a contract to launch NASA’s third and final Tracking and Data Relay Satellite M (TDRS-M) mission using an Atlas 5. The agency’s TDRS satellites provide global communications for the International Space Station (ISS), as well as telemetry and science data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other orbiting spacecraft. The mission is scheduled to launch in late 2017 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
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