ULA Delta IV Medium+ – GPS III MAGELLAN – A Farewell

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Tomorrow morning United Launch Alliance (ULA) will launch a Delta IV Medium+ Rocket carrying a Global Positioning System III (GPS III) satellite. This is the second GPS III (SV02) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

Liftoff is scheduled for 9:00:30 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 37 (SLC-37) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The launch window will be open for 27 minutes during tomorrows launch attempt.

Launch Vehicle

United Launch Alliance is using the Delta IV Medium+ in its 4,2 configuration. The rockets hydrogen-fueled common booster core is assisted by two solid rocket motors (SRM). The Delta Cryogenic Second Stage comes with a four-meter-wide composite payload fairing.

This launch will also be a milestone for United Launch Alliance and the Delta IV Medium rockets. It will be the 29th flight of a Delta IV Medium rocket as well as the last one. There won’t be any more launches of a Delta IV Medium rocket. ULA will continue to use their Delta IV rocket in the Heavy-Configuration. This is the same configuration which was used to launch the Parker Solar Probe into space and send it on its journey to our sun. ULA’s future workhorses will be the Delta IV Heavy, Atlas V and Vulcan Centaur.

ULA assemblies its rockets in the Horizontal Integration Facility (HIF) next to the launch pad and then transports it to the pad and erect it vertically.

Payload of the Delta IV Medium

This new generation of advanced satellites offers improved accuracy, better anti-jam resiliency and a new signal for civil users. GPS got irreplaceable in today’s age. We all use it, no matter if it’s in our phones, navigation units, heck even cameras have now GPS built-in. Overall ULA or one of its heritage vehicles launched 73 GPS satellites into space.

Check United Launch Alliance’s Album

Pre-Launch and Launch Photos of the GPS III Magellan Mission (SV-02)

Below photos of the rocket sitting on the pad and fully assembled, ready for tomorrows launch attempt. The rollback of the service-structure won’t happen until later on tonight.


ULA successfully launched the last Delta IV Medium rocket on August 22, 2019, and successfully deployed the second GPS III satellite. Launch occurred at 9:06 a.m. EDT, just 6 minutes past the scheduled T-0 of 9:00 a.m EDT. It was a beautiful launch to watch. It was hot and humid outside, but what are you going to do? It was definitely awesome.

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