SpaceX to Launch Third Lockheed-Built GPS III Satellite Tuesday

SpaceX is scheduled to launch on Tuesday the U.S. Air Force’s third GPS III satellite, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

Lockheed finished the encapsulation of Space Vehicle 03 into the payload fairing June 21 at the Astrotech facility, the service branch said Friday.

The rocket enclosure is designed to protect the satellite from aerodynamic forces as the vehicle passes through Earth’s atmosphere and support communications before on-orbit separation.

SV03 will be part of a 31-satellite constellation intended to provide positioning, navigation and timing services to over 4B users worldwide.

The Space and Missile Systems Center changed the initial April 29 launch schedule in order to implement measures to protect the health and increase safety of crew amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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