Artist's impression of a GPS IIF satellite
|Operator||US Air Force|
|Mission duration||15 years (planned)|
|Spacecraft||GPS SVN-66 (IIF-4)|
|Spacecraft type||GPS Block IIF|
|Launch mass||1,630 kilograms (3,600 lb)|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||15 May 2013, 21:38UTC|
|Rocket||Atlas V 401, AV-039|
|Launch site||Cape Canaveral SLC-41|
|Perigee||20,459 kilometres (12,713 mi)|
|Apogee||20,459 kilometres (12,713 mi)|
USA-242, also known as GPS IIF-4, GPS IIF SV-5 and Vega, is an American navigation satellite which was launched in May 2013. The fourth Block IIF GPS satellite, it will form part of the Global Positioning System.
USA-242 is a 1,630-kilogram (3,600 lb) spacecraft, built by Boeing with a design life of 15 years. It will operate from a semi-synchronous medium Earth orbit, at an altitude of 20,459 kilometres (12,713 mi) an an inclination of 55 degrees, in slot 2 of plane C of the GPS constellation. The new satellite will replace the seventeen-year-old USA-117 satellite, which will be kept operational as a backup satellite. USA-242 is expected to broadcast its navigation signals using the PRN-27 signal modulation.
United Launch Alliance conducted the launch of GPS IIF-4, using an Atlas V 401 carrier rocket. Launch took place from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, with liftoff occurring at 21:38 UTC on 15 May 2013, the beginning of an 18-minute launch window. The launch marked the first time since 1985 that a GPS satellite had launched on an Atlas rocket, or indeed any rocket other than a Delta.
- Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2F (Navstar-2F)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- "GPS IIF-4 Atlas V Mission Overview". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- McDowell, Jonathan. "Issue 679 (draft)". Jonathan's Space Report. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
- Ray, Justin. "Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 15 May 2013.
- Graham, William (15 May 2013). "ULA Atlas V succesfully [sic] deploys new GPS satellite". NASASpaceflight.com. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
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