Sixth-generation GPS satellite launched by Team Patrick-Cape
By 45th Space Wing Public Affairs Office, 45th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
/ Published May 16, 2014
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The U.S. Air Force successfully launched a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying the Air Force's sixth Block IIF-6 navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System at 8:03 p.m. EDT May 16, 2014, from Space Launch Complex 37.
The rocket flew in the Medium+ (4,2) configuration with two solid rocket boosters.
The 45th Space Wing team of military personnel, government civilians, and contractors provided launch support to the ULA mission, including weather forecasts, launch and range operations, security, safety, and public affairs.
GPS IIF-6 is the sixth in a series of next-generation GPS satellites and will join a worldwide timing and navigation system utilizing 24 satellites positioned in orbit approximately 11,000 miles above the Earth's surface.
GPS satellites serve and protect our warfighters by providing navigational assistance for U.S. operations on land, at sea, and in the air.
Civilian users around the world also use and depend on GPS for highly accurate time, location, and velocity information. From the navigation systems in our vehicles to the timing of most electronic financial transactions, GPS has permeated into nearly every aspect of our lives.
"The 45th Space Wing thanks United Launch Alliance, the Space and Missile Systems Center, GPS Directorate, Boeing and all our other mission partners who made this launch successful," said Col. Robert Pavelko, 45th Space Wing vice commander, who also served as Launch Decision Authority.
"It's another fantastic performance by a fantastic launch team," he said.
GPS IIF-6 was ULA's fifth launch of 2014 and 82nd overall. It also marked the 26th flight of the Delta IV since its first launch Nov 20, 2002. Of those 26 launches, 21 have lifted off from Cape Canaveral's Complex 37.
Lt. Col. Paul Konyha, 45th Launch Support Squadron commander, was also proud of the entire team's ability to successfully launch this important mission.
"Our team has launched every modern GPS satellite from here at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. We take great pride in our ability to deliver these capabilities to our citizens and warfighters," he said. "I am always impressed by the amount of dedication and rigor that everyone puts into each launch."
Pavelko readily agreed.
"A huge thanks to 'Team Patrick-Cape' for bringing our mission statement front and center once again," he said. And that's '45th Space Wing ... One team ... Delivering assured space launch, range and combat capabilities for the nation.'"