Launch Updates - Analytical Graphics, Inc.

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New Launch: 2011 July 16, 0641 UTC
Site: Air Force Eastern Test Range, Florida, USA
Launcher: Delta IV
International Designator(s): 2011-036A
SSC Name Owner
37753 NAVSTAR 66
(USA 232)

"Continuing a prolific partnership that has benefited billions of users around the world, the Delta rocket family today successfully launched its 50th satellite for the Global Positioning System.

"The powerful Delta 4 booster blasted away from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37 at 2:41 a.m. EDT (0641 GMT) for a middle-of-the-night ascent precisely timed to deliver a critical replacement satellite directly into the GPS constellation.

"It was the type of rocket flight that could appear routine. But replenishing the navigation network is vital to the military forces, civilian consumers and the blossoming commercial marketplace that have come to depend on GPS every day.

"Known as the GPS 2F-2 satellite, this newest bird will take the place of the GPS 2A-11 spacecraft that just celebrated its 20th birthday in orbit, exceeding the the wildest expectations for longevity.

"That old craft was deployed by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral on July 3, 1991, during the heydays of launching GPS satellites at a fast and furious rate.

"The newest breed, called GPS Block 2F, is the most advanced yet fielded."

"Today's GPS fleet is comprised of 31 satellites, including 11 Block 2A's made by Boeing, 12 Block 2R's and seven 2R-Modernized spacecraft built by Lockheed Martin, and Boeing's first Block 2F."

"Ground controllers expect to have the GPS 2F-2 satellite checked out and ready for service about 30 days after launch. It will occupy the Plane D, Slot 2A location of the network."

Source: Spaceflight Now, "GPS navigation satellite takes nighttime ride to orbit"

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© 2011 Analytical Graphics, Inc.  |   220 Valley Creek Blvd. Exton, PA 19341

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