The fifth GPS IIF satellite has been placed in orbit. Satellite IIF-5 has already transmitted initial signals back to Earth, according to a Boeing news release. It will undergo activation and testing before it joins the constellation of four other GPS IIF satellites in orbit.
This was the first GPS IIF launch of 2014. The sixth satellite is being prepared for a launch during the second quarter of 2014. Six more satellites are being built at Boeing's Satellite Development Center in El Segundo, Calif.
"Boeing launched the first GPS satellite in 1978 and has played an integral role in the ongoing enhancement of this vital technology ever since," said Craig Cooning, general manager of Boeing's Space & Intelligence Systems division. "The 42 satellites that we have deployed into service to date for the U.S. Air Force have accumulated more than 500 years of on-orbit operations, and the current system continues to meet or exceed all mission requirements."