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U.S. Air Force Prepares First IIF GPS Satellite for Launch on May 21

cape_canaveral-WEB.jpgA launch pad at Cape Canaveral (satellite image courtesy of GeoEye)
April 19, 2010
Inside GNSS, May 2010

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Launch of the first GPS Block IIF (follow-on) satellite is currently scheduled for May 21 from Cape Canaveral aboard a Delta-IV Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), with a destination in the constellation’s B2 plane and slot.

The IIF-1 SV (space vehicle) is at the launch site and fueled. A final IIF launch mission dress rehearsal (MDR) was scheduled to take place during the weeks of April  26 to May 7.

The U.S. Air Force and vendor support teams at the GPS Master Control Station in Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, have completed the last of five IIF Architecture Evolution Plan (AEP) exercises. These were conducted to demonstrate operational proficiency  of the Operational Control Segement to fly the GPS IIF SV with AEP - the current operational control system.

Schriever teams have also recently completed seven rehearsals  of the Launch, Anomaly, and Disposal Operations Control System (LADO) — the system used to establish three-axis, Earth pointing for the GPS IIF early orbit mission

The IIF satellites, designed and built by Boeing, will transmit the new civil L5  signal as well as the legacy civil and military GPS signals that are already on the air.

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