The U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command recently declared the eighth GPS III satellite as “Available for Launch.” This significant accomplishment officially marks the third space vehicle within the GPS III program to be declared available for launch in the past three months.
GPS III SV06, SV07, and SV08 are now awaiting official call up for launch in Lockheed Martin’s GPS III Processing Facility in Waterton, Colorado.
The first of the three recently completed satellites, SV06, is scheduled to launch in 2022 and will join the operational constellation of 31 GPS satellites.
GPS III satellites deliver enhanced performance and accuracy through a variety of improvements, including increased signal protection and improved accuracy. GPS III also expands the civilian L5 signal, dubbed the “safety-of-life” signal, currently broadcast by the 12 GPS IIF satellites, but not yet operational, and delivers a new L1C signal designed to grant interoperability to similar international space-based position, navigation and timing systems around the world. As a crucial technological foundation for internet, financial, transportation, and agricultural operations, GPS delivers the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting U.S. and allied operations worldwide.
“SV06, SV07, and SV08 AFL milestones in just three months prove that GPS III production continues to benefit from efficiencies with each satellite delivery,” said Col. Edward Byrne, chief of SSC’s Space Production Corps’ Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems Division.
Space Systems Command, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Space Force’s Center of Excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SSC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, a defense meteorological satellite control network, range systems, space-based infrared systems, and space domain awareness capabilities.