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GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a medium-Earth orbit satellite constellation operated by the United States Space Force. It is America’s global navigation satellite system (GNNS), providing geolocation and time coverage around the world; Russia uses its own GLONASS for GNNS and the European Union uses Galileo. Currently, there are 31 active GPS satellites in orbit, with roughly two dozen more satellites planned.

GPS Block III is the third major iteration of the GPS satellite and is designed and manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Each satellite is designed to have a 15-year lifespan; however, based on previous blocks lasting over twice as long as their planned lifespan, each satellite will likely last longer. The goal of GPS Block III was to provide enhanced signal reliability, accuracy, and integrity.

Alternate Names

  • 55268
  • USA 343

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2023-01-19
Launch Vehicle: Falcon 9 Full Thrust
Launch Site: Cape Canaveral, United States

Funding Agency

  • United States Air Force Academy (United States)


  • Navigation/Global Positioning

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

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