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SpaceX Launches ‘GPS 3’ Navigation Satellite Into Orbit



SpaceX Launches 'GPS 3' Navigation Satellite Into Orbit

(CTN NEWS) – Cape Canaveral, Florida — On Wednesday, SpaceX launched the most recent in a line of more potent GPS navigation satellites, continuing a fleet-wide upgrade by the U.S. Space Force to provide better accuracy and anti-jamming capability.

The 9,595-pound satellite was launched by a Falcon 9 rocket from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station at 7:24 EST and made an arc toward the northeast over the Atlantic Ocean.

The rocket’s upper stage engine burned twice to attain the intended deploy orbit before releasing the satellite to fly on its own after dropping off its previously flown first stage, which had returned on its own to land on an offshore droneship.

The sixth GPS 3 satellite, launched on Wednesday, is one of the ten that Lockheed Martin has produced for the Space Force.

Additionally, 22 cutting-edge GPS 3 Follow-On navigation beacons will be developed by Lockheed Martin to update the complete constellation with cutting-edge components.

Andre Trotter, vice president of navigation systems at Lockheed Martin, stated that the company now has four additional GPS satellites ready for launch in its facility in Colorado.

Atomic clocks onboard GPS satellites generate ultra-precise timing signals that are continuously relayed.

A camera on the Falcon 9’s second stage captured a view of the GPS 3 satellite being released to fly on its own about 90 minutes after launch.

By examining minute variations in the signals from several satellites, military and civilian receivers may determine their position, velocity, and altitude in devices ranging from vehicle navigation systems to smart weaponry.

According to Tonya Ladwig, a vice president of Lockheed Martin, before a previous launch, the GPS 3 satellites are “the most powerful, resilient GPS satellite ever created.”

“We offer an eight-fold boost in anti-jamming capabilities over the constellation’s current satellites and a three-fold improvement in accuracy.”

In addition to better search and rescue capabilities, compatibility with other navigation systems, and enhanced civilian transmissions, the GPS 3 satellites also have a more precise and jam-proof military channel.

The program executive officer, Cordell DeLaPena Jr., described the additional satellites as “a vital contribution to Space Systems Command’s ongoing GPS modernization effort.

Bringing about new capabilities to civilian and military customers throughout the globe.”


An artist’s impression of a GPS 3 navigation satellite in orbit with its solar arrays and antennas deployed. LOCKHEED MARTIN

“GPS 3 satellites boost our capacity to offer military and civilian customers more reliable and accurate signals that enable daily operations like navigation and search and rescue missions.”

This year’s launch was SpaceX‘s fourth overall.

A Falcon 9 rocket will launch 51 Starlink broadband satellites from the Californian Vandenberg Space Force Base at 10:23 a.m. EST on Thursday, the fifth of about 100 planned launches.


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