The second GPS III satellite, a new, more powerful navigation satellite, is officially healthy and available for use by the military, the Space Force announced March 24.
Many of its more advanced features, however, won’t be available until a full suite of GPS III satellites is on orbit, its next-generation ground segment is operational and war fighters have terminals that are built to access those features.
Control of the satellite was transferred to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron at Schriever Air Force Base in Colorado.
The satellite, known as Magellan, launched in August aboard a United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket. The space vehicle is the second of a batch of 10 GPS III satellites Lockheed Martin will build for the Department of Defense.
Military leaders tout that the new satellites deliver positioning, navigation and timing information that is three times more accurate and has eight times improved anti-jamming capability. It has a 15-year design life.
The first GPS III satellite was transferred to the 2nd Space Operations Squadron in January.