The US Air Force has successfully launched the seventh upgraded Global Positioning System IIR-M satellite onboard a Delta II rocket from the Space Launch Complex 17A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
The GPS IIR-20 (M) launch is the Space and Missile Systems Center's sixtieth consecutive launch success and the third for the Launch and Range Systems Wing in 2009.
The GPS satellite will join a constellation of 31 operational satellites in orbit providing global coverage to users worldwide.
The GPS IIR-M satellites offer a variety of enhanced features for GPS users such as two new military signals for improved accuracy, enhanced encryption, anti-jamming capabilities and a second civil signal to provide dual frequency capability and improve resistance to interference. The US Air Force is expected to launch its last GPS IIR-M satellite in August this year from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
This next mission will also be the last Air Force Delta II mission as it transitions all its launch services to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program.