A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the seventh Global Positioning System (GPS IIF-7) satellite for the U.S. Air Force launched at 11:23 p.m. EDT yesterday from Space Launch Complex-41. This is the second successful ULA launch in just four days.
"Congratulations to the U.S. Air Force and all of our mission partners on the successful launch of the Atlas V carrying the GPS IIF-7 satellite," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. "ULA launch vehicles have delivered all of the current generation of GPS satellites, which are providing ever-improving capabilities for users around the world."
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter-diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A engine.
"This launch marks the third time this year ULA has successfully launched two missions within a week," said Sponnick "The ULA team's focus on mission success, one launch at a time, allows us to be ready when our customers are ready to launch."
GPS IIF-7 is the seventh in a series of next-generation GPS satellites and will join a worldwide timing and navigation system utilizing 24 satellites in six different planes, with a minimum of four satellites per plane positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 miles above the Earth's surface. The GPS IIF series provides improved accuracy and enhanced performance for GPS users.
ULA's next launch is the Atlas V WorldView-3 mission for DigitalGlobe scheduled for Aug. 13 from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
The EELV program was established by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads. The commercially developed EELV program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the nation's most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 80 satellites to orbit that provide critical capabilities for troops in the field, aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, enable personal device-based GPS navigation and unlock the mysteries of our solar system. ULA – Bringing rocket science down to Earth.
Source: United Launch Alliance
Date: Aug 2, 2014