CAPE CANAVERAL AFS, Fla., July 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying the Air Force's Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF-2 payload lifted off from Space Launch Complex-37 here at 2:41 a.m. EDT today. This is the seventh ULA launch this year.
"Congratulations to the entire team on the successful launch of the GPS IIF-2 satellite," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. "Today's one-at-a-time launch represents the 50th successful GPS launch on a Delta launch vehicle. We are proud to have served alongside the government and contractor teams over the last two decades in successfully launching GPS missions for the U.S. Air Force and providing important capabilities for our national defense and for millions of civilian and commercial users around the world."
The mission was launched aboard a Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration launch vehicle featuring an ULA single common booster core powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne (PWR) RS-68 main engine and two Alliant Techsystems (ATK) strap-on solid rocket motors. The payload was encased by a composite payload fairing and powered by the four-meter diameter upper stage using the PWR RL10B-2 engine. The GPS IIF-2 launch marked the eighth flight of the Delta IV Medium+ (4,2) configuration and the 17th flight of the Delta IV family of launch vehicles.
GPS IIF-2 is the second 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 earths' surface. The GPS IIF series provides improved accuracy and enhanced performance for GPS users.
ULA's next launch is the Atlas V Juno mission for NASA currently scheduled for August 5, 2011 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, and San Diego, Calif. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).
SOURCE United Launch Alliance