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30-Jan-01 | Delta flight 283 – NAVSTAR IIR-7

In the early morning of Tuesday, 30 January, the 283rd Delta rocket launched NAVSTAR 2R-7, another Air Force Global Positioning System replenishment satellite. After a short countdown delay, the flight was a complete success despite difficulties with telemetry reception during the third stage burn. The 34th GPS satellite to reach orbit on a Delta entered a nominal transfer orbit 25 minutes after liftoff.

The mission patch, emblazoned on the side of the vehicle, honoured the 10 year anniversary of Operation Desert Storm, “the first space war” — i.e. the first conflict with extensive operational use of GPS. This latest GPS satellite will replace GPS 2A-10, launched in 1990 aboard Delta 201, which has exceeded its 7-year design lifetime and will move to a backup position.

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