US launches its seventh GPS 2F satellite

Artist's concept of the GPS-2F satellite
Artist's concept of the GPS-2F satellite
Credits: ULA and USAF

On 1 August 2014, the U.S. Air Force launched the seventh of its GPS 2F series of positioning, navigation and timing satellites from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

This new GPS 2F satellites, which will be one of 31 active satellites in the constellation, provide better accuracy and resistance to jamming than the previous generation of GPS satellites, most of which are still in operation. The launch helps bolster a GPS fleet whose satellites are beginning to show their age, Air Force officials say.

The Air Force has taken a series of steps in recent years to extend the life of the on-orbit GPS satellites, including changing the way it charges the batteries on some satellites. The Air Force expects to launch one more GPS 2F satellite before the end of the year, three in 2015 and the last of the series in 2016, together with the next-generation GPS 3 series of satellites.