Rocket expected to launch GPS satellite into orbit for U.S. Air Force

By William Harwood

/ CBS News

CBSN

A United Launch Alliance medium-class Delta 4 rocket was fueled for launch Thursday morning to boost a third-generation GPS navigation satellite into orbit for the U.S. Air Force. Liftoff from pad 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida was targeted for 9 a.m. ET, the opening of a 27-minute window.

The new GPS satellite is the second in a series of Lockheed Martin-built jam-resistant navsats featuring improved accuracy for both military and civilian users. This is the final launch of a single-core Delta 4 rocket as ULA phases out the boosters in a transition to lower-cost, partially reusable Vulcan rockets.

Only five more triple-core heavy-lift versions of the Delta 4 remain in ULA's inventory.

First published on August 22, 2019 / 8:47 AM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

William Harwood

Bill Harwood has been covering the U.S. space program full-time since 1984, first as Cape Canaveral bureau chief for United Press International and now as a consultant for CBS News. He covered 129 space shuttle missions, every interplanetary flight since Voyager 2's flyby of Neptune and scores of commercial and military launches. Based at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, Harwood is a devoted amateur astronomer and co-author of "Comm Check: The Final Flight of Shuttle Columbia."

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