Military Embedded Systems

Military-code GPS III satellite propelled into orbit for U.S. Space Force


June 18, 2021

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Stock image.

DENVER, Colo. The fifth Lockheed Martin-built Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite is now headed to its orbit 12,550 miles above earth. The company claims that this marks another step in supporting the U.S. Space Force's GPS satellite constellation modernization efforts.

According to officials, GPS III SV05 will be the 24th Military Code (M-Code) signal-enabled GPS space vehicle on orbit, completing the constellation's baseline requirement to provide our military forces a more-secure GPS signal. 

In the coming days, officials claim that GPS III SV05's onboard liquid apogee engine will continue to propel the satellite towards its operational orbit. After it arrives, engineers will send the satellite commands to deploy its solar arrays and antennas, and prepare GPS III SV05 for handover to Space Operations Command.

Lockheed Martin is part of the GPS III team led by the Space Production Corps Medium Earth Orbit Division at the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base. 

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