“Earhart” departs Buckley Space Force Base

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Shaun Combs
  • Space Base Delta 2 Public Affairs

GPS III SV06, named “Earhart” in honor of Amelia Earhart, an American aviation pioneer and writer, and proponent of women's rights, was successfully moved from a Lockheed Martin facility in Denver, Colorado via the Buckley Space Force Base flightline, enroute to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida on Oct. 24, 2022.

After being declared “Available for launch” by U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command, GPS III SV06, the sixth of 10 GPS III satellites that will be joining the operational constellation consisting of 31 GPS satellites.

“The Total Force Airmen and Space Force Guardians of Buckley are prepared to assist in any movements or support to the Department of Defense,” said Col. Marcus Jackson, BSFB installation commander. “I am proud of the coordination, community partnership, and logistical efforts of our service members to continue creating a lean and agile service.”

GPS III SV06 will deliver enhances performance and accuracy through a variety of improvements, including increased signal protection and improved accuracy. The GPS III constellation will also expand the civilian L5 signal, dubbed the "safety-of-life" signal.

GPS III SV06 will be processed at the Astrotech Space Operations facility in Titusville, Florida.

While at Astrotech, it will undergo final post-ship functional testing, be loaded with its onboard propellant, and then encapsulated for launch aboard a Space X Falcon 9 vehicle at Cape Canaveral, Florida in January 2023.

Once launched and set healthy, GPS III SV06 will enhance operational capability support to Space Delta 4. The addition of the new satellite will increase the resiliency of the operating system, ensuring long lasting readiness into the foreseeable future.

“GPS III supports all of Delta 4 missions as a provider of precisions timing and is a key asset supporting satellite positioning,” Lyon said. “Having a GPS capability, allows our Guardians to provide real-time synchronization with our Space Based Infrared Systems’ constellations, securing our readiness in Space.”

As a crucial technological foundation for internet, financial, transportation, and agricultural operations, GPS delivers the gold standard in positioning, navigation, and timing services supporting U.S. and allied operations worldwide.