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Archive for September, 2005

26-Sep-05 | Delta flight 313 – NAVSTAR IIR-14 (M1)

The Air Force’s first “modernized” GPS satellite reached a perfect transfer orbit this morning on the wings of Delta flight 313. Official liftoff time was 23:37:00.531 EDT (25-Sep, or 03:37 on 26-Sep UTC), the very opening of the launch window — the result of a flawless countdown routine.

Once it reaches operational orbit (within the next several days), NAVSTAR IIR-M1 will begin a four-month shakedown cruise as Air Force controllers test its improved resistance to signal interference and confirm its interoperability with existing GPS satellites and receivers. It will ultimately replace NAVSTAR IIA-20, launched in 1993 aboard Delta 220, which has some useful life left and which will be moved to another slot in the constellation.

26-Sep-05 | Next launch

The next Delta launch will be NASA’s CALIPSO and CloudSat, riding aboard a Med-Lite 7420 with a Dual Payload Attach Fitting (DPAF). The pair will fly in close formation to “provide new insight into the role that clouds and airborne particles play in regulating Earth’s weather, climate, and air quality.” They are scheduled to launch from Vandenberg’s SLC-2W on 26 October.

20-Sep-05 | GPS delay

On again, off again: NAVSTAR IIR-M-1 made the schedule for Wednesday evening, 21/22 September, but on Monday it was announced that the flight would be delayed once more. No reason has been revealed to the public. It is now scheduled for no earlier than Sunday night, 25/26 September.



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