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Thursday morning launch

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

The third new-generation satellite for the Global Positioning System and its Delta 4 rocket booster have been cleared for blastoff into the navigation network Thursday from Cape Canaveral.
The GPS 2F-3 spacecraft is targeting an 8:10 a.m. EDT launch from Complex 37. A 19-minute window extending to 8:29 a.m. EDT will be available if conditions prevent an on-time liftoff.
Managers gathered this morning for the Launch Readiness Review, which culminated with the consensus to proceed with picking up the countdown Wednesday evening.

The IIF series expand on the capabilities of the IIR(M) series with the addition of a third civil signal in a frequency protected for safety-of-life transportation. The "F" in IIF stands for follow-on. Compared to previous generations, GPS IIF satellites have a longer life expectancy and a higher accuracy requirement. Each spacecraft uses a mix of rubidium and cesium atomic clocks to keep time within 8 billionths of a second per day. The IIF series will improve the accuracy, signal strength, and quality of GPS.
Developed by Boeing, the IIF series includes a total of 12 satellites: SVN-62 through SVN-73. The first IIF satellite launched in May 2010. As of September 2012, there were two operational IIF satellites in the GPS constellation, with a third set for launch in October 2012. LEARN ABOUT THE SECOND GPS IIF SATELLITE AT AF.MIL...

Key Improvements:

  • Operational version of the third civilian GPS signal (L5) for transportation safety. LEARN MORE...
  • 12-year design lifespan.
  • Extremely accurate atomic clocks.
Additional information about the GPS IIF satellites is available from the manufacturer's website. GO THERE...

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