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Second GPS III Satellite “Magellan” Encapsulated for Launch

U.S Air Force has encapsulated and is ready to launch second next-generation GPS III satellite nicknamed “Magellan” on July 25. GPS III Space Vehicle 02 (GPS III SV02) has been encapsulated in its protective, aerodynamic, nose-cone shell at the Lockheed Martin Space and United Launch Alliance (ULA) Astrotech Space Operations facility on June 26. It is to be noted that the satellite has already undergone pre-launch processing and fueling in the same facility since its March 19 arrival in Florida. 

According to the report Lockheed Martin is under contract, for the development and construction up to 32 GPS III/IIIF satellites for the Air Force. GPS III with its advanced technology will be capable of delivering with three times better accuracy. It is expected that GPS III will have anti-jamming capabilities eight times improved than before. Moreover, 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. 

Furthermore, considering the capabilities of GPS IIIF, it will be added with the 11th satellite. This addition will include a fully-digital navigation payload, a Regional Military Protection capability, an accuracy-enhancing laser retroreflector array, and a search-and-rescue payload. 

According to Johnathon Caldwell, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Navigation Systems: “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. We are excited to deploy more GPS III satellites so this new technology and capabilities can be distributed constellation-wide.”



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