This Gorgeous GPS Satellite is Ready for Launch Later Today

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This golden slice of visual perfection is a Global Positioning System IIF-series satellite. It underwent final testing on October 21st at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The US Air Force and its mission partners are scheduled to launch this satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 401 rocket today from Space Launch Complex 41. The new GPS satellite will be smarter and more durable than previous GPS satellites, as USAF explains:

GPS IIF will provide improved navigational accuracy through advanced atomic clocks, a longer design life, and a third operational civil signal (L5) that benefits commercial aviation and safety-of-life applications.

[Photo: United Launch Alliance via USAF]