9th-generation GPS satellite blasts off from 'The Cape'

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  • By 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 45th Space Wing supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket carrying the Air Force's ninth Block IIF-9 navigation satellite for the GPS March 25, 2015, from Launch Complex 37 here.

This launch marks the 29th Delta IV launch and the 57th operational GPS satellite to launch on a ULA or heritage launch vehicle. Delta IV has delivered numerous satellites for the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), as well as GPS satellites for the Air Force and weather satellites for NASA, according to a ULA media release.

"I'm elated with today's successful launch, the GPS constellation remains healthy, strong and robust; and in over 20 years since initial operational capability, GPS has never failed to deliver on its global positioning, navigation and timing commitments," said Brig. Gen. Cooley, the director of the Space and Missile Systems Center's GPS Directorate.

"Each new generation of GPS satellites provides enhanced capability over the prior generations, and has delivered reliable performance demonstrating our commitment that GPS remain the gold standard space-based positioning, navigation and timing service for the future," he said. "Thanks to the men and women of SMC, the 45th, 50th, 310th Space Wings, Boeing, United Launch Alliance, the Aerospace Corporation, GPS IIF and Delta IV launch teams, the GPS IIF program continues to meet GPS enterprise needs."

Created by the Department of Defense to enhance military warfighting capability, GPS is available for use, free of charge, to anyone with a GPS receiver. U.S. and allied military forces use GPS devices in virtually every system to improve their capabilities and effectiveness while reducing risk to their forces and non-combatants. From finance to farming, use by the civilian community continues to grow rapidly and new commercial applications are continuously being developed.

The GPS IIF system brings next-generation performance to the constellation. The GPS IIF vehicle is critical to national security and sustaining GPS constellation availability for global, civil, commercial and defense applications. Besides sustaining the GPS constellation, IIF features more capability and improved mission performance.