The US Space Force’s (USSF) sixth Global Positioning System (GPS) III satellite has been delivered to the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, US.
Known as Amelia Earhart, the GPS III Space Vehicle (SV)-06 was delivered by the Space Systems Command’s (SSC) Military Communication and Positioning, Navigation and Timing (PNT) Directorate.
The shipping of Amelia Earhart from Lockheed Martin’s facility in Littleton, Colorado, to the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, was supported by a C-17 Globemaster III military airlift aircraft.
The aircraft was assigned under March Air Reserve Base, California-based 729th Airlift Squadron and supported the heavy lifting of SV06.
Following the latest milestone, the satellite will undergo various evaluations and checkout before the final launch, which is slated to take place in January 2023.
The GPS III SV06 will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville.
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Work to be performed at this location include a series of final post-ship functional assessment, loading of the satellite’s onboard propellant and finally encapsulating the SV06 for the launch.
The new space vehicle will then be fitted horizontally onto the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle.
Once launched, the new GPS III SV06 will join the operational constellation of 31 GPS satellites.
SSC Military Communication & PNT Directorate GPS Space Vehicles Acquisition Delta senior materiel leader said colonel Jung Ha said: “SV06 is the latest GPS III satellite shipped to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station and marks a key step in our larger goal of GPS constellation modernisation.
“As the fifth GPS III launch campaign with SpaceX, this launch marks the 25th Military-Code satellite introduced to our constellation, providing our satellite operators with highly capable and advanced technology to aid them in their mission.”