CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla., July 16, 2011 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] has received the first on-orbit signals from the second of 12 Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellites it is building for the U.S. Air Force. GPS IIF-2, renamed SVN-63, is functioning normally and ready to begin on-orbit maneuvers and operational testing.
SVN-63 launched on a United Launch Alliance Delta IV vehicle today at 2:41 a.m. Eastern time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Controllers confirmed initial contact with the spacecraft at 6:14 a.m. Eastern time at a ground station on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. GPS signals from the spacecraft payload will be turned on for test purposes in the coming days.
"This satellite delivery continues Boeing's history of support to the Air Force, and joins the previous 39 mission-compliant satellites from the GPS Block I, Block II/IIA and GPS IIF missions represented by more than 35 years of teamwork," said Craig Cooning, vice president and general manager of Boeing Space & Intelligence Systems. "GPS IIF contributes to building a robust GPS constellation by providing increased accuracy through improved atomic clock technology; a more jam-resistant military signal; and a more powerful and secure civilian signal to help commercial airline operations and search-and-rescue missions."
Following launch, the Delta IV vehicle placed SVN-63 into medium Earth orbit. With safety checks completed, checkout will begin under the direction of the Air Force GPS Directorate. Checkout includes payload and system checks to verify operability with the GPS constellation of satellites, ground receivers, and the Operational Control Segment system. Boeing will officially turn over SVN-63 to the Air Force 50th Space Wing and the 2nd Space Operations Squadron this fall after the spacecraft completes on-orbit checkout.
GPS is a global utility providing highly accurate position, navigation and timing services at no cost to billions of people around the world. Originally developed for military use, GPS has been adopted as the foundation of modern communications, with countless applications in aviation; agriculture; surveying and mapping; transportation and navigation; consumer commerce and communications; public safety and disaster relief, and much more.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $32 billion business with 65,000 employees worldwide. Follow us on Twitter: @BoeingDefense.
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More information on the GPS IIF program is available on Boeing's online media kit at
Space & Intelligence Systems
Space & Intelligence Systems