CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., July 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully launched the 10th Global Positioning System (GPS) IIF satellite for the U.S. Air Force at 11:36 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex-41. This is ULA's sixth launch in 2015 and the 97th successful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
"Congratulations to the U.S Air Force and the entire mission team on today's successful launch of the 10th GPS IIF satellite! In just a few days, on July 17, the Global Positioning System will celebrate the 20th anniversary of GPS achieving fully operational status," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. "ULA is very proud to play a role in delivering these satellites to orbit, with Atlas and Delta rockets having launched all 58 operational GPS satellites."
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 RL10-C engine. This was ULA's 27th launch of the 401 configuration, and ULA's 55th mission to launch on an Atlas V rocket.
ULA's next launch is the Delta IV WGS-7 mission for the U. S. Air Force, scheduled for July 22 from Space Launch Complex-37 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
GPS IIF-10 is one of the next-generation GPS satellites, incorporating various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users. GPS IIF-10 is the 10th 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. GPS satellites serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air. Civilian users around the world also use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location, and velocity information.
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 95 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.
For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch.
SOURCE United Launch Alliance