Thursday, October 04, 2012

Delta IV launches replacement GPS satellite

 An advanced GPS satellite soars toward orbit from Cape Canaveral. (ULA)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A white and bronze rocket lifted-off from America's Space Coast on Thursday to deliver a new GPS satellite to a network in which commuters in the air and on the ground relay upon.

The enhanced NAVSTAR GPS IIF-3 will become a replacement satellite for one of the twenty-four aging GPS IIF's.

A United Launch Alliance Delta IV-Medium launched into the blue skies of Cape Canaveral at 8:10 a.m. EDT on October 4, and then began it's arc out over the Atlantic waters.

The Boeing-built spacecraft is designed to improve network coverage for both civilian and military networks, including a new L5 signal for improved commercial and civil aviation users.

The spacecraft is scheduled to separate from the rocket's upper stage at 11:43 a.m. over an area off the coast of Hong Kong, China.

Thursday's launch came on the fifty-fifth anniversary of the dawn of the space age and the launch of the world's first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1.

(Charles Atkeison reports on aerospace, science & technology. Follow his updates via Twitter @AbsolutSpaceGuy.)

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