Another GPS on Orbit, Another Successful Delta Launch

Airmen at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., worked with United Launch Alliance to launch a Delta II rocket that boosted Lockheed Martin Global Positioning Satellite IIR-20(M) into orbit at 4:34 a.m. (EDT) Tuesday. ULA noted that the event marked the 47th successful GPS launch for the Delta II booster over its 20-year career. “One third of the 140 successful Delta II launches have been dedicated to GPS satellites,” Jim Sponnick, ULA’s vice president for the Delta Product Line, said in a ULA release, noting, too, that the ULA team is “extremely proud” to have played a role in launching this “incredible constellation.” The GPS sat launched this week is the seventh of eight modernized satellites developed by Lockheed that has enhanced military and civil signal performance. It also includes a demonstration payload comprising a third civil signal that complies with international radio frequency spectrum requirements that Don DeGryse, Lockheed’s VP for navigation systems, said in a company release is “an innovative, low-risk, low-cost demonstration payload that will pave the way for the new operational third civil signal.”