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Raumfahrt - Startvorbereitung für Delta IV mit GPS III Space Vehicle 02 “Magellan”

23.03.2019

GPS III Space Vehicle 02 “Magellan” arrives in Florida; Prepares for July launch

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GPS III Space Vehicle 02 “Magellan” arrives in Florida in preparation for its July launch from Cape Canaveral Air force Station. Named in honor of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth, was transported in a custom container from the Lockheed Martin factory facility in Waterton, Colorado to the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, by a C-17 Globemaster III originating from Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base, West Virginia. (US Air Force Photo: Lt. Daniel Eichman)

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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. --

The U.S. Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center’s Global Positioning Systems Directorate achieved another major program milestone March 19, successfully delivering the second GPS III Space Vehicle to Astrotech Space Operations in Titusville, Florida to begin satellite launch processing.

 “The shipment of this second GPS III satellite is once again an excellent representation of the collaborative effort and increasing efficiencies of SMC’s push towards rapid acquisitions and operations of space technologies,” said Lt Gen John F. Thompson, SMC commander and Air Force program executive officer for Space. “We are adding this second GPS III satellite just seven months from the launch of the inaugural Block III space vehicle, continuing our objective of modernizing GPS.”            

The satellite, dubbed “Magellan” in honor of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese explorer who led the first expedition to circumnavigate the Earth, was transported in a custom container from the Lockheed Martin factory facility in Waterton, Colorado to the Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, by a C-17 Globemaster III originating from Shepherd Field Air National Guard Base, West Virginia, 167th Air Lift Wing. The transportation crew consisted of both contractor and government personnel who oversaw the entire operation to ensure that the conditions of the transport environment would not damage any of the satellite’s sensitive components.

The delivery of SV02 starts the clock for final testing and checkout of the spacecraft prior to launch. Like SV01, this satellite will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations Florida facility. A government and contractor team will ensure the full functionality of the satellite by performing various tests. Processing this time around will gain efficiencies from lessons learned on SV01. As the spacecraft nears launch, the team will prepare for propellant loading and will encapsulate the satellite into its protective fairing supplied by the launch provider. At the completion of these activities, the satellite will be integrated with the United Launch Alliance’s (ULA) Delta IV launch vehicle. It is significant to note that GPS III SV02 will be the final payload to catch a ride on the Delta IV (4, 2) configuration of ULA’s Launch Vehicle.

 “As we prepare to launch this second GPS III satellite, we acknowledge a major transition of the GPS III program into a production program.” said Col. Steve Whitney, director of the GPS Directorate. “Having successfully launched our ‘Satellite of Firsts,’ Vespucci, last December; we now look forward to a more regular pace of launches with this one and several more just on the horizon, as we continue to uphold the Gold Standard in space based position, navigation, and timing.”

GPS III SV02 is currently slated to launch in July this year. Once on-orbit it will join the operational constellation of 31 GPS satellites. GPS delivers the world’s gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting vital U.S. and allied operations worldwide, underpinning critical financial, transportation, and agricultural infrastructure that billions of users have come to depend on daily.

Quelle: USAF

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Update: 8.06.2019

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Final ‘single stick’ Delta 4-Medium rocket arrives at Florida launch pad

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The core of United Launch Alliance’s final Delta 4-Medium rocket rolled out to Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37 launch pad May 28. Credit: United Launch Alliance

Ground crews finished the initial build-up of the last “single stick” medium-lift variant of United Launch Alliance’s Delta 4 rocket on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral last week in preparation for liftoff with a GPS navigation satellite July 25.

ULA is retiring the Delta 4-Medium rocket after next month’s launch, but will continue flying the Delta 4-Heavy rocket through at least 2024 to carry clandestine payloads into orbit for the National Reconnaissance Office, which owns the U.S. government’s spy satellite fleet.

The Delta 4-Heavy uses three Delta 4 first stages connected together to loft more massive payloads into orbit, or spacecraft requiring higher-speed trajectories, while the Delta 4-Medium uses a single first stage and duplicates the capabilities offered by ULA’s less expensive Atlas 5 rocket.

Positioned on a 36-wheel diesel-fueled transporter, the Delta 4’s first and second stages — already mated together — emerged from ULA’s Horizontal Integration Facility on May 28 for the short drive to Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37 launch pad. A hydraulic lift raised the rocket vertical inside the launch pad’s mobile gantry May 29, and workers installed a pair of solid-fueled boosters on each side of the orange first stage May 31 and June 3.

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Credit: United Launch Alliance

The Delta 4’s first and second stages, powered by hydrogen-fueled Aerojet Rocketdyne engines, were connected together inside ULA’s hangar near the launch pad before last week’s rollout.

The Delta 4-Medium’s final launch will deliver the second in a new generation of U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System satellites into an elliptical transfer orbit ranging more than 12,000 miles (about 20,000 kilometers) from Earth at its highest altitude.

The GPS 3 SV02 navigation satellite, nicknamed “Magellan” and built by Lockheed Martin, arrived at the Florida spaceport in March for final launch preparations. It will be added atop the Delta 4 rocket closer to launch, wrapped inside the launcher’s protective nose cone.

The first of the new generation of GPS satellites, named “Vespucci,” launched in December aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The GPS network provides positioning and timing services worldwide for military and civilian users.

The launch, scheduled for the morning of July 25, will mark the 40th flight of a Delta 4 rocket since 2002. It will be the 29th rocket to fly in the Delta 4-Medium configuration, with variants that include zero, two, or four strap-on solid rocket boosters, and options for two different payload fairing sizes.

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The Delta 4 rocket was hoisted vertical at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37 launch pad May 29. Credit: United Launch Alliance

Originally designed and developed by Boeing, the Delta 4 rocket became part of ULA when the company was formed in 2006 by the merger of the Delta and Atlas launch vehicle divisions of Boeing and Lockheed Martin. ULA’s primary business has been in launching U.S. national security satellites, and the Air Force’s policy requires two rocket families be available to carry military payloads into space, in case one of the launchers runs into reliability woes.

ULA announced in 2014 it would retire the single-stick medium-lift version of the Delta 4. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets are now certified by the Air Force to haul national security payloads into orbit. That places the Falcon and Atlas launcher families from SpaceX and ULA in head-to-head competitions for military launch contracts until a new generation of rockets come online in the early 2020s, including ULA’s Vulcan Centaur, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, and Northrop Grumman’s planned OmegA system.

The Delta 4 the more expensive of ULA’s two rocket families, hence the company’s  decision to retire it, and not the Atlas 5. But the Delta 4-Heavy variant will remain operational at least five more years. The National Reconnaissance Office, using the Air Force as a contracting agent, has purchased five more Delta 4-Heavy missions through 2024.

Quelle: SN 
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Update: 17.06.2019
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Lockheed Martin Delivers GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) Ground System Upgrade To Control More Powerful GPS Satellites
Second GPS III Satellite Readies for Launch; Third Satellite Declared "Available for Launch"
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The U.S. Air Force recently declared Lockheed Martin’s third GPS III satellite “Available For Launch” or “AFL.”
 

The next step in modernizing the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation with new technology and capabilities is happening from the ground up!

On May 22, Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) delivered the GPS III Contingency Operations (COps) software upgrade to the U.S. Air Force's current GPS ground control system. The upgrade will enable the Air Force to start commanding the new, next-generation GPS III satellites now coming off the production line and beginning to launch.

And the new GPS III satellites are coming. The first GPS III satellite launched in December 2018; the second GPS III shipped to Cape Canaveral in March for a July launch; and the Air Force, on May 17, declared the third new GPS III "Available for Launch" next.

The challenge was modernizing the current ground system – formally known as the GPS Architecture Evolution Plan Operational Control System (AEP OCS) -- to fly the legacy constellation, as well as the new, modern GPS III satellites, until the next generation Operational Control System (OCX) Block 1, still in development, is delivered.

To address this, in 2016, the Air Force contracted Lockheed Martin to develop the GPS III COps program. Currently, the AEP OCS controls 31 GPS IIA, IIR, IIR-M and IIF satellites launched between 1993-2016. With the AEP OCS' new GPS III COps upgrade, the Air Force will be able to command and control both the legacy satellites, as well the more powerful GPS III satellites.

"Positioning, Navigation and Timing is a critical mission for our nation and COps will allow the Air Force to gain early access to its new GPS III satellites," said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin's vice president for Navigation Systems. "We just finished Final Qualification Testing and delivery on COps, and it will be integrated and installed on the AEP OCS over the summer. We look forward to the Air Force 'flying' a GPS constellation on the COps OCS which includes the new GPS III satellites, later this year."

Meanwhile, the first GPS III space vehicle (GPS III SV01), launched in December 2018, is finishing up pre-operational on-orbit check-out. It continues to be controlled by OCX Block 0 software installed at Lockheed Martin's GPS III Launch and Checkout Center at the company's Denver facility. GPS III SV01 is expected to be "handed over" to the COps OCS later this year after the legacy constellation is moved over to the updated AEP OCS.

Lockheed Martin has sustained the AEP OCS since 2013. In November 2018, the company completed the AEP 7.5 upgrade -- the largest architectural change in the systems history -- replacing significant code, hardware and software to improve the system's cybersecurity capabilities and positioning the Air Force to better operate in contested, degraded and operationally limited environments.

In December 2018, the Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin the GPS Control Segment Sustainment II (GCS II) contract to continue to further modernize and sustain the AEP OCS through 2025. In 2020, the AEP OCS is expected to receive the M-Code Early Use (MCEU) upgrade, which will allow control of M-Code, an advanced, new signal designed to improve anti-jamming and anti-spoofing, as well as to increase secure access to military GPS signals for U.S. and allied armed forces.

Lockheed Martin is under contract to develop and build up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites. GPS III will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III's new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems. Additional "IIIF" capabilities, beginning at the 11th satellite, will include a fully digital navigation payload, Regional Military Protection, an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, and a Search & Rescue payload.

Quelle:  Lockheed Martin

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Update: 5.07.2019

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GPS satellite encapsulated for Delta 4 launch

The U.S. Air Force’s next GPS navigation satellite has been closed up inside the payload fairing of its Delta 4 launcher ahead a liftoff from Cape Canaveral scheduled for July 25.

The Lockheed Martin-built spacecraft was encapsulated inside the Delta 4’s payload fairing last week inside an Astrotech payload processing facility in Titusville, Florida. The satellite’s next move will be to the Delta 4’s launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, where United Launch Alliance teams have stacked and tested the rocket since late May.

The Delta 4 rocket is set for liftoff from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 37B launch pad during a 26-minute launch window opening at 10:55 a.m. EDT (1455 GMT) on July 25. It will be the final launch of the single-core Delta 4-Medium rocket variant, which ULA is retiring in favor of the less expensive Atlas 5 rocket, and eventually the new Vulcan launcher family set to debut in 2021.

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The GPS 3 SV02 navigation satellite, nicknamed “Magellan,” was encapsulated inside the Delta 4 rocket’s payload fairing in late June. Credit: U.S. Air Force

The July 25 launch will mark the 40th flight of a Delta 4 rocket since November 2002, and ULA’s third mission this year.

The Delta 4-Heavy rocket configuration, made by combining three Delta 4 rocket cores together, will continue flying into the 2020s. The National Reconnaissance Office, using the Air Force as a contracting agent, has contracts in place for five more Delta 4-Heavy missions through 2024.

The Delta 4-Medium’s final launch will deliver the second in a new generation of Air Force Global Positioning System satellites into an elliptical transfer orbit ranging more than 12,000 miles (about 20,000 kilometers) from Earth at its highest altitude.

The GPS 3 SV02 navigation satellite, nicknamed “Magellan” and built by Lockheed Martin, arrived at the Florida spaceport in March for final launch preparations. The Air Force said the spacecraft passed final checkouts inside the Astrotech payload processing facility before encapsulation.

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Credit: U.S. Air Force

The first of the new generation of GPS satellites, named “Vespucci,” launched in December aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. The GPS network provides positioning and timing services worldwide for military and civilian users.

The retirement of the Delta 4-Medium rocket also marks the last flight of the Delta 4’s 4-meter-diameter (13.1-foot) payload fairing. The Delta 4-Heavy rockets set for launch over the next five years all use a larger 5-meter (16.4-foot) payload shroud.

Quelle: SN

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Update: 10.07.2019

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Second GPS III satellite encapsulated for July 25 launch

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The second next-generation GPS III satellite — nicknamed “Magellan” by the U.S. Air Force — is encapsulated and ready for its planned July 25 launch.

On June 26, Lockheed Martin Space and United Launch Alliance (ULA) technicians completed encapsulating GPS III Space Vehicle 02 (GPS III SV02) in its launch fairings at the company’s Astrotech Space Operations facility, where the satellite has undergone pre-launch processing and fueling since its March 19 arrival in Florida. This final step enclosed GPS III SV02 in a protective, aerodynamic, nose-cone shell.

In the coming days, the enclosed GPS III SV02 satellite will be mounted to a ULA Delta IV rocket for launch. The current window for launch on July 25 opens at 10:55 a.m. ET.

“GPS III SV02 is launching just a brisk seven months after the nation’s first GPS III satellite lifted off back in December. The first satellite’s performance during on-orbit testing has exceeded expectations,” said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems. “We are excited to deploy more GPS III satellites so this new technology and capabilities can be distributed constellation-wide.”

GPS III satellite production and launch cadence is picking up. On May 27, the Air Force declared the next GPS III satellite, GPS III SV03, available for launch, pending an official launch date.

“More GPS III satellites are coming. If you looked at our production line back in Denver today you would see GPS III space vehicles 04, 05 and 06 already fully-assembled and in various stages of testing. And space vehicles 07 and 08 are being built up at the component assembly level now,” Caldwell added. “It is a smooth, efficient, methodical process.”

Lockheed Martin is under contract to develop and build up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites for the Air Force. GPS III will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III’s new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo.

Additional GPS IIIF capabilities will begin being added with the 11th satellite. These will include a fully-digital navigation payload, a Regional Military Protection capability, an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, and a search-and-rescue payload.

Quelle: GPS WORLD

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Update: 15.07.2019

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Launch Fairings Up: Second Lockheed Martin-Built GPS III Satellite Ready For July 25 Liftoff

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The U.S. Air Force's second Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite is encapsulated for launch.

TITUSVILLE, Fla., The GPS satellite constellation is about to get its next heathy dose of new technology and more advanced capabilities. The second next-generation, Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT)-built GPS III satellite – nick-named "Magellan" by the U.S. Air Force -- is sealed up and ready for its planned July 25 launch.

On June 26, Lockheed Martin Space and United Launch Alliance (ULA) technicians completed encapsulating GPS III Space Vehicle 02 (GPS III SV02) in its launch fairings at the company's Astrotech Space Operations facility, where the satellite has undergone pre-launch processing and fueling since its March 19 arrival in Florida. This final step enclosed GPS III SV02 in a protective, aerodynamic, nose-cone shell.

In the coming days, the enclosed GPS III SV02 satellite will be mounted to a ULA Delta IV rocket for launch. The current window for launch on July 25 opens at 10:55 a.m. ET.

"GPS III SV02 is launching just a brisk seven months after the nation's first GPS III satellite lifted off back in December. The first satellite's performance during on-orbit testing has exceeded expectations," said Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin's vice president for Navigation Systems. "We are excited to deploy more GPS III satellites so this new technology and capabilities can be distributed constellation-wide."

GPS III satellite production and launch cadence is picking up. On May 27, the Air Force declared the next GPS III satellite, GPS III SV03, "Available for Launch," pending an official launch date.

"More GPS III satellites are coming. If you looked at our production line back in Denver today you would see GPS III space vehicles 04, 05 and 06 already fully-assembled and in various stages of testing. And space vehicles 07 and 08 are being built up at the component assembly level now," Caldwell added. "It is a smooth, efficient, methodical process."

Lockheed Martin is under contract to develop and build up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites for the Air Force. GPS III will deliver three times better accuracy and provide up to eight times improved anti-jamming capabilities. GPS III's new L1C civil signal will make it the first GPS satellite to be interoperable with other international global navigation satellite systems, like Galileo.

Additional GPS "IIIF" capabilities will begin being added at the 11th satellite. These will include a fully-digital navigation payload, a Regional Military Protection capability, an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, and a Search & Rescue payload.

Quelle: Lockheed Martin

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Update: 18.07.2019

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Launch of ULA's last 'single stick' Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral delayed

The planned late July liftoff of a United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station has been delayed about a month, the company said Wednesday.

Teams will now target no earlier than Aug. 22 for liftoff from Launch Complex 37 of the final "single stick" Delta IV with an Air Force Global Positioning System satellite.

ULA said the mission, known as GPS III SV02, was delayed "due to an anomaly during component testing at a supplier which has created a crossover concern." The same concern also was noted last week when the launch of an Atlas V rocket, also a ULA product, was delayed to no earlier than Aug. 8.

The company confirmed to FLORIDA TODAY that the same issue — tied to the upper stage — caused both delays.

ULA flies two variants of Delta IV. One is the standard rocket that has one core booster, while Delta IV Heavy flies with three cores. The latter will continue flying from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Next up on the Eastern Range, meanwhile, is SpaceX. The company will launch a Falcon 9 rocket with an uncrewed Dragon spacecraft packed with thousands of pounds of cargo and supplies for the International Space Station. Liftoff is targeted for 7:35 p.m. Sunday and the first stage will return to land at Cape Canaveral's Landing Zone 1.

Quelle: Florida Today

 

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