From: Lockheed Martin Corporation
Posted: Tuesday, December 11, 2018
The U.S. Air Force’s first Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT)-built is now encapsulated for its planned December 18 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
GPS III Space Vehicle 01 (GPS III SV01) underwent pre-launch processing, fueling and encapsulation at , in Titusville, Florida. During encapsulation, GPS III SV01 was sealed in its launch fairing, an aerodynamic, nose-cone shell that protects the satellite during launch. In the coming days, the fairing-enclosed satellite will be mounted to the rocket as launch preparations continue.
Lockheed Martin developed GPS III and manufactured GPS III SV01 at its advanced $128-million GPS III Processing Facility near Denver. In September 2017, the Air Force declared the satellite “Available for Launch” (AFL) and had the company place it into storage. Last Summer the Air Force “called up” the satellite for launch and Lockheed Martin on August 20. The Air Force nicknamed the satellite “Vespucci” after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
GPS III SV01 is the first of 10 GPS III satellites originally ordered by the Air Force. GPS III SV03-08 are now in various stages of assembly and test. In August, the Air Force declared the and, in November, called GPS III SV02 up for 2019 launch.
In September, the Air Force selected Lockheed Martin for the program, an estimated $7.2 billion opportunity to build up to 22 additional GPS IIIF satellites with additional capabilities. GPS IIIF builds off Lockheed Martin’s existing modular GPS III, which was designed to evolve with new technology and changing mission needs. On Sept. 26, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin a $1.4 billion contract for support to start up the program and to contract the 11th and 12th GPS III satellite.
For additional GPS III information, photos and video visit:
About Lockheed Martin
Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs approximately 100,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. This year the company received three Edison Awards for ground-breaking innovations in autonomy, satellite technology and directed energy.
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