FY 15 launch schedule kicks off with GPS IIF-8 liftoff from 'The Cape'
By 45th Space Wing, Public Affairs
/ Published October 29, 2014
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force supported the successful launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Air Force's eighth Block IIF navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System at 1:21 p.m. EDT Oct. 29 from Space Launch Complex 41.
The 45th Space Wing team of military personnel, government civilians, and contractors provided support to the ULA launch of the Air Force Space Command mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety, and public affairs.
The rocket flew in the 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
GPS is a space-based, world-wide navigation system providing users with highly accurate, three-dimensional position, velocity and timing information 24 hours a day in all weather conditions, and GPS satellites also serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. military operations on land, at sea, and in the air.
GPS IIF-8 is one of the next-generation GPS satellites, incorporating various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased signals, and enhanced performance for users.
The GPS Block IIF satellites are built by Boeing, and will be operated by the United States Air Force following their launch by United Launch Alliance, using Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicles.
Additionally, every modern GPS satellite has been launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
This will mark the third use of an Atlas V for this mission; the other five GPS Block IIF missions were launched aboard a Delta IV, beginning with the first launch May 28, 2010, from Launch Complex 37 here.
GPS IIF-8 will be ULA's fourth GPS launch of 2014 and the 12th of the year. The mission will mark ULA's 89th mission since the company was founded in 2006.
"What a way to begin our Fiscal Year 15 launch manifest with the launch of such an important mission," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, 45th Space Wing commander, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority.
"The Sharks of the 45th Space Wing thank Space and Missile Systems Center, GPS Directorate, United Launch Alliance, Boeing, and all our other mission partners who made this launch successful and helped get us started on what is sure to be a very busy year on the Eastern Range," she said.
"Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go GPS IIF-8!" she added.