Lockheed Martin-Built Next Generation GPS III Satellite Launch Itself to Orbit

GPS III Space Vehicle 05 (GPS III SV05), introduced earlier today, is the next next-generation GPS III satellite, a warfighting system owned and maintained by the Space Force.

Fremont, CA: Lockheed Martin's fifth Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite is now on its way to an orbit 12,550 miles above Earth. This is another step toward assisting the United States Space Force's GPS satellite constellation modernization operations.

GPS III Space Vehicle 05 (GPS III SV05), introduced earlier today, is the next next-generation GPS III satellite, a warfighting system owned and maintained by the Space Force. GPS III SV05 will be the 24th Military Code (M-Code) signal-enabled GPS space vehicle in orbit, completing the constellation's baseline requirement of providing military forces with a more secure, more difficult-to-jam, and spoof GPS signal.

"With GPS III SV05, we continue our focus on rapidly fielding innovative capabilities for the Space Force's Positioning, Navigation and Timing Mission," stated Tonya Ladwig, Lockheed Martin vice president for Navigation Systems. "With each satellite we bring to orbit, we help the U.S. Space Force to modernize the GPS constellation's technology and to imagine future capability. Our next three satellites, GPS III SV06, SV07, and SV08, are already complete and just waiting for a launch date."

After a 12:09 p.m. ET launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, US Space Force and Lockheed Martin engineers at the company's Denver GPS III Launch & Checkout Operations Center declared GPS III SV05 separated from its SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and "flying" under their control about 90 minutes later.

The GPS III SV05's onboard liquid apogee engine will continue to accelerate the satellite towards its operational orbit in the following days. Engineers will transmit commands to the satellite to deploy its solar arrays and antennae, as well as prepare GPS III SV05 for handover to Space Operations Command.

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