CAPE CANAVERAL — The newest Global Positioning System replenishment satellite went into operation Tuesday night, five weeks after ascending to space from Cape Canaveral atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
The GPS 2F-11 navigation spacecraft was launched Oct. 31 into a circular orbit 11,000 nautical mile high and tilted 55 degrees to the equator.
GPS 2F-11 has assumed Plane E, Slot 2 of the network. The new bird took the place of GPS 2R-10 satellite, launched in 2003. The Lockheed Martin-built satellite has outlived its 7.5-year design life and will shift to an alternate role within the constellation for its remaining years.
The next satellite in the series, GPS 2F-12, was shipped to Cape Canaveral on Oct. 8 in preparation for liftoff on Feb. 3 aboard another Atlas 5.
Boeing has built a dozen Block 2F satellites with improved accuracy, additional signals, better anti-jamming and longer design lives for the satellites.
“The GPS 2F satellites play a key role in our modernization effort to provide new space-based capabilities for users around the globe and for decades to come,” said Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, Space and Missile Systems Center commander and Air Force Program Executive Officer for Space.
See our earlier GPS 2F-11 coverage.
Our Atlas archive.