A Delta II space launch vehicle lifts off from Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Sept. 25. It carried a NAVSTAR Global Positioning System satellite into orbit. (U.S. Air Force photo)
9/26/2006 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. (AFPN) -- Members from the 45th Space Wing led the government/industry team that successfully launched a Delta II booster from here Sept. 25. The rocket carried a NAVSTAR Global Positioning System satellite into space and saluted the nation's former POWs and MIAs.
The satellite launched is the second of the modernized GPS satellites that incorporates various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased resistance to interference and enhanced performance for users.
It will become part of a system nominally consisting of a minimum 24-satellite constellation that provides continuous and precise navigation and timing information to military and civilian users worldwide.
"Once again, the 45th Space Wing has accomplished another major milestone in our national quest to improve and maintain our space capabilities," said Brig. Gen. Susan J. Helms, 45th SW commander. "The GPS constellation has worldwide importance and the U.S. Air Force makes it happen."
The POW/MIA logo was adhered to the fixed umbilical tower at Space Launch Complex 17A and the mission patch -- which incorporates the POW/MIA theme -- was affixed to the rocket.
"Our POWs and MIAs gave a tremendous amount to protect our freedoms. This is our way to show our gratitude to them during POW/MIA Month, while at the same time putting another asset into space that will deliver combat effects to combatant commanders," said 1st Lt. Chris Schlagheck of the 45th SW and booster operations controller for the mission.
GPS is the world's premier space-based positioning and navigation system. Endeavors such as mapping, aerial refueling, rendezvous operations, geodetic surveying and search and rescue operations have all benefited from GPS accuracy.