Lockheed Martin Corp. this week announced that it switched on the initial power for their GPS III prototype satellite.
The Lockheed Martin Website quoted Lieutenant Colonel Don Frew, the U.S. Air Force’s GPS III program manager, as saying, “Turning initial power on for the GNST is a major milestone for the GPS III team demonstrating we are well on track to deliver the first satellite for launch in 2014. Our joint government and industry team is committed to delivering GPS III on schedule to sustain and modernize the GPS constellation for users worldwide.”
The GPS III Non-Flight Satellite Testbed is currently under construction in the Lockheed plant in Newtown, PA, in the US. The spacecraft will be shipped to Lockheed’s processing facility in Denver, CO, for further testing later this year.
The US Air Force awarded Lockheed Martin the US$1.46 billion contract back in May 2008. The latest GPS III revision hopes to provide a more stable and reliable GPS service that is more resilient to GPS jamming.