Sunday, October 01, 2006

New NAVSTAR GPS Satellite Launched

The USAF has launched a new NAVSTAR GPS satellite. Launched on 25 Sep 2006 at 1850 UTC, the satellite carries an international designator of 2006-042/SSC#29486. Based on the last element set the satellite appears to still be in its transfer orbit phase.

This is the second NAVSTAR of the new GPS-IIR/M series platforms and the 15th series IIR satellites. These new GPS IIR-M satellites incorporates various improvements to provide greater accuracy, increased resistance to interference and enhanced performance for users.

The satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral from LC17A onboard a Delta 2/7925 rocket. No USA number has been assigned to this satellite yet and probably won't until the satellite is in its final orbit and health checks on the satellite prove successful. I anticipate it will carry USA 190 when all is said and done.

The last orbital elset produced these orbital parameters:

Period 357.05 minutes

Inclination 40 degress

Apogee 20414 km

Perigee 173 km

RCS 3.5