Eighth GPS IIF Launch a Success

The Air Force successfully launched the eighth GPS IIF satellite Wednesday. The vehicle departed Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., at 1:22 p.m., traveling aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle powered by an RD-180 engine. It was the fourth GPS IIF launch this year, pushing the Air Force to its “highest GPS launch tempo in over 20 years,” Col. Bill Cooley, AFSPC’s director of the Global Positioning Systems Directorate, said during an Oct. 24 teleconference. It also makes the 50th flight of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V vehicle. The launch took place as planned, despite concerns by some in the community that the failed launch of an Orbital Science Antares rocket late Tuesday may impact the GPS IIF launch. “We have a legacy to be very proud of and we will continue to live up to our commitments by sustaining and enhancing GPS mission capabilities to ensure we continue to deliver a healthy, stable, and robust GPS constellation for users around the world,” Cooley added in an Oct. 28 release.