The U.S. Air Force’s second next-generation GPS III satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, is responding to commands, under control and now using its own internal propulsion system to get to orbit following its successful launch. At 11:01 a.m. ET, Air Force and Lockheed Martin engineers at Lockheed Martin’s Launch & Checkout Facility near Denver declared they had full control of GPS III Space Vehicle 02 (GPS III SV02) shortly after the satellite’s separation from its United Launch Alliance (ULA) Delta IV rocket booster. The satellite, nicknamed “Magellan” by the Air Force, began its rocket ride to space with a 09:06 a.m. ET launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
GPS III SV02 is the second GPS III satellite designed and built by Lockheed Martin to help the Air Force modernize today’s Global Positioning System (GPS) constellation with new technology and capabilities. GPS III satellites provide 3x greater accuracy and up to 8x improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III also provides a new L1C civil signal, compatible with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Europe’s Galileo.