The sixth GPS Block IIF satellite was successfully launched Friday at 8:03 p.m. local time. Built by Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems of El Segundo, California, GPS IIF-6 launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The launch was originally planned for Thursday evening, but bad weather led to a 24-hour hold. One hour remained in the countdown when the launch was scrubbed.
Two more GPS IIF satellites are scheduled to launch before the end of the year.
Below is a video of the launch.
Here are launch highlights.
GPS IIF-6 is nicknamed Rigel. All of the Block II-F satellites have been named after stars. Rigel is is the brightest star in the constellation Orion and the seventh brightest star in the night sky, with a visual magnitude of 0.12.
In the patch commemorating the launch, Orion is depicted with an alligator head. This is in reference to the “Night Gators,” the part of the launch team that is responsible for moving payloads to the launch pad, which has typically occurred at night.
A slideshow of photos from United Launch Alliance:
A slideshow of images from Spaceflight Now.
Innovation Editor Richard Langley helped compile this report.