New GPS on the Job Already

The Air Force has declared the latest—and last of its model—Global Positioning Satellite, launched into orbit Aug. 17, to be operational, as of Aug. 27. The Lockheed Martin-built satellite, GPS IIR-21(M), joins 30 other GPS sats currently in the operational constellation. This good news bears out the earlier claim by Space and Missile Center officials that a problem with the previous satellite in the series (GPS IIR-20) did not extend to #21. (SMC release)