Space Force prepares to launch fifth GPS III satellite
The fifth Lockheed Martin-built GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV05) has been shipped to Cape Canaveral in preparation for a June 2021 launch, the US Space Force (USSF) announced on 21 April.
It added: ‘SV05 will be horizontally integrated with the first-ever SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle to be reflown for a National Security Space Launch (NSSL) mission.’
Once in orbit, GPS III SV05 will be the 24th satellite in the 31 GPS-satellite constellation capable of broadcasting the GPS Military Code (M-Code) encrypted signal that enhances anti-jamming and anti-spoofing capabilities.
This is significant as 24 M-Code enabled satellites will bring M-Code to full operational capability.
Eight older GPS IIR satellites are in orbit without M-Code.
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