A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II rocket is poised at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Fla. to place a Global Positioning System satellite into orbit.
On Thursday, Nov. 9, a 26-minute-long launch window opens at 12:18 p.m. EST. Twenty-five minutes after liftoff, the Delta II will insert the 33rd GPS satellite into a transfer orbit above the Earth.
"Delta II launch vehicles placed the original 24 operational satellites and all replacements for the GPS constellation into orbit for the U.S. Air Force," said Will Hampton, director, Air Force Delta programs.
"This will be the 33rd GPS satellite to be placed into orbit by a Delta II," he noted. "We remain committed to mission success through the use of proven manufacturing and launch operations processes."
Boeing has been involved in the Air Force's GPS program since 1974, when the company won contracts to build developmental satellites and receiver sets. A contract in 1987 with the Air Force to launch GPS satellites reactivated the Delta manufacturing line and resulted in the introduction of the Delta II rocket.
Boeing is currently working on design, development, and production of the third generation of GPS satellites. The company currently has an additional 15 launches manifested for the satellite navigational system.
The GPS satellite navigational system operates via a constellation of 28 operational satellites, a ground control system, and thousands of terminals to help locate and guide military and civilian users in the air, at sea, on the ground, and in space.
Boeing Delta Web Site