Last night’s (May 26, 2010) launch of the GPS 2F-1 satellite came on the heels of the 50th anniversary of the first Delta launch and was the 13th mission success for the newest Delta launch vehicle, the Delta 4.
About three-and-a-half hours after launch, the Delta 4 rocket delivered its satellite payload directly to the GPS constellation’s altitude 11,000 above earth. The new bird should be checked out and ready for use in 90 to 120 days.
The Air Force could launch the GPS 2F-2 satellite in November or December using an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral, but upcoming launches will only be scheduled when fresh GPS spacecraft are needed.
Nerd Stuff: Nikon D200, 17mm (25mm equivalent), 38 seconds, F/13, ISO 200, manual everything :-)
Launch pad 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Photograph was created in my backyard in Viera Florida, roughly 25 miles SSW of the launch pad.