News & Press: Space

Successful GPS III launch

22 August 2019   (0 Comments)
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The second Lockheed Martin GPS III satellite was finally launched from Cape Canaveral on 22 August, having been delayed from a planned launch on 25 July.

An anomaly in the United Launch Alliance Delta 4 launch vehicle had been resolved and it was launched at the planned time of 1306 UTC on 22 August. The first GPS III satellite had been successfully launched on 23 December 2018.

The satellite will use its own engine to circularise its orbit and join the GPS constellation at a height of ~12,550 miles.  After some weeks of testing, it will replace an aging member of the constellation.

GPS III satellites have an extended lifespan of 15 years. The manufacturers claim 3-times better accuracy and up to 8-times improved anti-jamming capabilities compared with the newest GPS II satellites. They will also transmit the L1C civil signal, making them compatible with other GNSS such as GLONASS, BeiDou and Galileo. It is hoped that full GPS III functionality - although still employing some GPS II satellites - will be achieved by January 2023.

A video of the launch can be seen at