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Rocket Sends Enhanced GPS Satellite Into Orbit

Image: A United Launch Alliance Delta IV rocket carrying an Air Force navigation satellite for the Global Positioning System lifts off from launch complex 37 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
A United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket leaves behind a trail of exhaust after Friday's liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. John Raoux / AP

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A Delta 4 rocket lifted off from Florida on Friday, sending a GPS satellite into orbit.

The United Launch Alliance rocket placed a navigation satellite into the Global Positioning System constellation for the Air Force. This is the sixth such satellite deployed by the Air Force.

Image: Delta 4 launch
A Delta 4 rocket carrying a satellite for the Global Positioning System lifts off from Launch Complex 37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Friday. John Raoux / AP

The GPS 2F satellites provide enhanced military signals that have greater accuracy and are more resistant to signal jamming. They also have some civilian applications and a longer life expectancy than the previous generation of satellites.

About three hours after launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the rocket delivered the satellite directly to the GPS constellation, which is orbiting at an altitude of 12,713 statute miles (20,459 kilometers).

— The Associated Press