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GPS Satellite Update Launches To Orbit


The last of a dozen satellites to help you navigate using your GPS made it to orbit.

The final Global Positioning Satellite hitched a ride to space thanks to United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA launched the GPS IIF-12 satellite on an Atlas V rocket.

While the GPS system is operated by the Air Force, it’s the same one civilians use on their cell phones or car navigation.

The Atlas V rocket uses Russian-made engines, and the U.S. Air Force has come under fire recently for using them – most vocally from U.S. Senator John McCain.

The rocket lifted off from Launch Complex 41 at 8:38 a.m.

#GPSIIF12 Video from #KennedySpaceCenter LC-39 Observation Gantry. pic.twitter.com/S2X57ty0aH

— KSC Visitor Complex (@ExploreSpaceKSC) February 5, 2016

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program.

Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.