The US Space Force encapsulates the GPS III SV-05 satellite within the payload prior to the launch of SpaceX Falcon 9 on June 17.

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The 15-minute launch window opens at 12:09 p.m. EDT. Encapsulation of the satellite within the payload fairing protects the satellite from the impact of dynamic pressure and aerodynamic heating during its harrowing journey through the earth’s atmosphere and supports the ability to communicate with the satellite until separation from the launch vehicle on orbit.

“The GPS III program continues to make strides in modernizing the GPS constellation for the United States Space Force, maintaining the ‘gold standard for the position, navigation and timing,” said Col. Edward Byrne, Medium Earth Orbit Space Systems division chief, “SV05 is not only the first-ever USSF satellite launched on a previously flown booster, but also is the 24th Military-Code (M-Code) satellite introduced to our constellation, the last needed to bring M-Code to full operational capability.” Its portfolio includes the development of advanced space and launch capability and systems, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch, and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.

Space and Missile Systems Center, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the U.S. Space Force’s center of acquisition excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. Its portfolio includes the development of advanced space and launch capability and systems, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, defense meteorological satellites, space launch, and range systems, satellite control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities. (U.S. Space Force image)

GPS III SV05 will join the current 31-satellite operational constellation to continue to provide the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services for more than four billion users worldwide. GPS III SV05 will join the current 31-satellite operational constellation to continue to provide the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services for more than four billion users worldwide. (U.S. Space Force image)

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