Press Release

Boeing Delta II Deploys 50th GPS Satellite

By SpaceRef Editor
March 22, 2004
Filed under , ,

The 50th satellite
launched for the U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS),
GPS IIR-11, was delivered to space today by a Boeing [NYSE: BA] Delta
II rocket.

The three-stage configuration Delta II launch vehicle lifted off
from Space Launch Complex 17B at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,
Fla., at 12:53 p.m. EST.

GPS IIR-11 was successfully deployed to a transfer orbit following
a 68-minute flight, where it will join the 24-satellite system.

“Today’s launch is a significant milestone for the Boeing
Delta team,” said Will Trafton, vice president and general
manager, Boeing Expendable Launch Systems. “Our team’s
commitment to mission assurance has played a critical role in the
success of the GPS program and the services it provides to the U.S.
military as well as civilian users around the world.”

Boeing Delta II rockets have launched all of the Block II GPS satellites
making up the current operating constellation.

The successful deployment to space of GPS satellites aboard Delta
II rockets has enabled the U.S. military to utilize GPS to assist
aircraft, ships, land vehicles and ground personnel using handheld

GPS also provides directional guidance for the freefall flight of
the Boeing-built Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) smart weapon
system, which has successfully been used in the war on terrorism.

GPS provides military and civilian users three-dimensional position
location data in longitude, latitude and elevation as well as precise
time and velocity.

The Air Force Space Command administers the GPS program, which is
operated by the 50th Space Wing at Schriever Air Force Base, Colo.

The next mission for the Delta team is the launch of Gravity Probe
B for NASA aboard a Delta II, scheduled for launch in April from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

A unit of The Boeing Company, Integrated Defense Systems is one
of the world’s largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered
in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $27 billion
business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government
and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence,
surveillance and reconnaissance; 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 launch services.

SpaceRef staff editor.