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GPS IIR-8 launches. ULA photo (Click image to enlarge.)

8th GPS IIF Satellite Begins Transmitting Nav Signals

December 15, 2014
Inside GNSS, November/December 2014

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[Updated December 15, 2014] The eighth GPS Block IIF navigation satellite launched on October 29 has completed its operational checkout and was set to healthy and usable on Friday (December 12, 2014). This brings the number of satellites transmitting the L2C signal to 15 and those transmitting the L5 signal to 8.  The next GPS-IIF satellite, IIF-9/SVN-70 is tentatively scheduled for launch in March of 2015.

Now in orbital slot 1 in the constellation’s E plane — GPS IIF-8 (designated PRN03 for its pseudorandom noise code 03) will take the place of a 14-year-old GPS IIR  the GPS IIR-4 satellite, which will go into reserve status in the A plane.

The GPS Block IIF satellites are built by Boeing. This launch marks the third use of an Atlas V for the GPS program; the other five GPS Block IIF missions were launched aboard a Delta IV rockets.

Two GPS IIF launches are scheduled to occur next year — in addition to the tentatively scheduled March launch on board a Delta IV rocket, another is expected to go up in June on an Atlas launcher.

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