GPS IIF-6 successfully launched from Cape Canaveral

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The Air Force successfully launched the sixth Global Positioning System IIF satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., May 16.

The Boeing-built GPS IIF satellite joins the GPS constellation providing global coverage and increased overall performance to users around the globe, officials said. The satellite provides greater navigational accuracy through improvements in atomic clock technology, a more resilient signal for commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications and a longer design life of 12 years.

"Today's successful launch demonstrates our combined government and industry team's dedication to mission success, ensuring GPS continues to be the gold standard for space based positioning, navigation, and timing," said Col. Bill Cooley, the director of the Space and Missile Systems Centers Global Positioning Systems Directorate.

GPS provides accurate real time position, navigation and timing services and plays a major role in information resources supporting a variety of civil, scientific and commercial functions on land, sea and air. Operated by U.S. Air Force Space Command, the GPS constellation provides precise services worldwide 24-hours a day, and the Air force is committed to providing improved capabilities to ensure users around the globe receive the maximum benefits provided by GPS.

 "I want to recognize the tireless efforts of the 45th and 50th Space wings, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, and the GPS IIF and Delta IV program teams at (space missile command,)" Cooley said. "I am extremely proud of the team, everyone pulled together to make this day a true success. Users can depend on GPS with confidence today, tomorrow and in the future."

GPS has led to greatly enhanced farming, survey/mapping, telecommunications, banking and other financial transactions, officials said  It supports more efficient electrical power distribution, internet service, mass transit, and recreational activities. GPS has improved the understanding of our environment to include climate change, endangered species tracking, earthquakes and volcanoes. It is also vital to first responders in emergencies and disaster relief operations worldwide. Additional uses include monitoring sea level changes, engineering surveys and scientific applications that require precise position determination.

(Courtesy of Air Force Space Command Public Affairs)