Lockheed Encapsulates Air Force’s First GPS III Satellite

Lockheed Martin has finished encapsulation of the first GPS III satellite the company has built for the U.S. Air Force as part of pre-launch preparations at a facility in Titusville, Fla.

GPS III Space Vehicle 01 is scheduled to lift off Dec. 18 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, Lockheed said Tuesday.

The satellite, nicknamed “Vespucci,” will broadcast the L1C civil signal intended to be compatible with other global navigation satellite systems.

Lockheed manufactured GPS III SV01 at the company’s processing facility near Denver and delivered the spacecraft to Florida in August.

The Air Force initially ordered 10 satellites from the company and then awarded a $1.36B contract in September to produce an additional two satellites as part of the potential $7.2B GPS III Follow On program.

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