The Strategist

Falcon 9 delivers latest generation GPS satellite to orbit for US Air Force

07/01/2020 - 04:36

Falcon 9 heavy rocket successfully launched the third satellite of the third generation global positioning system GPS III into the regular orbit for the US Air Force, said SpaceX company.

The launch was carried out on Tuesday at 16:10, the time of the US East Coast from the 40th launch complex at the launch site at Cape Canaveral in Florida. After about an hour and a half, the satellite was launched into the target orbit, SpaceX reported.

The first reusable stage of the American Falcon 9 rocket made a controlled landing on the floating platform Just Read the Instructions, located in the Atlantic Ocean about 635 km from Cape Canaveral.

The GPS III spacecraft will be another element in the planned orbital constellation of 32 third-generation global positioning satellites. These devices will gradually replace obsolete satellites, which currently provide GPS signals around the world.

GPS III satellites have a large signal power, they can determine location of civilian objects three times more accurate than the currently used satellites, whose accuracy is 3-10 meters. To determine the location of military facilities, this figure will be even higher.

At the same time, GPS III has significantly improved anti-jamming capabilities compared to earlier devices. They will be eight times more protected from suppression by US adversaries.

Currently, the services of the GPS system, operated by the US Air Force, are used by more than 4 billion people in the world.

The new satellites are built by Lockheed Martin Corporation. The cost of one device is estimated at $ 577 million. The life of a new generation satellite is 15 years.