Boeing Delta II Delivers First Modernized GPS Satellite to Orbit
Boeing Delta II Delivers
First Modernized GPS Satellite to Orbit
Saint Louis, Missouri -- (Boeing)
September 26, 2005 -- A Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta II launch vehicle today
successfully delivered the first of the modernized Block IIR Global Positioning
System (GPS) satellites to space for the U.S. Air Force.
Photo Carleton Bailie
The Delta II rocket carrying the GPS IIR-14 (M) spacecraft
lifted off from Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
Fla., yesterday at 11:37 p.m. EDT. Following a nominal 24-minute flight, the
rocket deployed the satellite to a transfer orbit.
"We are honored to be the United States Air Force's choice to launch the GPS
satellites and proud to have delivered the first modernized spacecraft to its
targeted orbit. Tonight's success is a direct result of the hard work and
dedication of Boeing's Delta team," said Dan Collins, vice president, Boeing
Expendable Launch Systems.
The Boeing Delta II 7925-9.5 configuration vehicle used for this mission
featured a Boeing first stage booster powered by a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
RS-27A main engine and nine Alliant Techsystems (ATK) solid rocket boosters. An
Aerojet AJ10-118K engine powered the storable propellant restartable second
stage. A Thiokol Star-48B solid rocket motor propelled the third stage prior to
spacecraft deployment. The rocket also flew with a nine-and-a-half-foot diameter
Boeing payload fairing.
A redundant inertial flight control assembly built by L3 Communications Space &
Navigation provided guidance and control for the rocket that enabled a precise
deployment of the satellite.
The GPS IIR-14 (M) mission also marked the 100th flight of the Delta II using
the ATK 40-inch diameter version solid rocket motors.
Boeing provides launches for the GPS program aboard Delta II vehicles and has a
planned GPS manifest through at least 2007.
The GPS network supports U.S. military operations conducted from aircraft, ships,
land vehicles and by ground personnel. Additional use includes mapping, aerial
refueling and rendezvous, geodetic surveys, and search and rescue operations.
GPS provides military and civilian users three-dimensional position location
data in longitude, latitude and elevation as well as precise time and velocity.
The satellites orbit the earth every 12 hours, emitting continuous navigation
signals. The signals are so accurate, time can be figured to within one
millionth of a second, velocity within a fraction of a mile-per-second and
location to within 100 feet.
The new GPS IIR-14 (M) is the first of the modernized GPS satellites that
incorporates various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased
resistance to interference and enhanced performance for users.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the
world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing
Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.5 billion business. It provides
network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and
commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and
reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the
world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based
communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's
largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch
Boeing Media Contacts:
Villanueva, Boeing Expendable Launch Systems, (714) 372-2089 Office
Boeing Florida Operations, (321) 264-8582 Office