September 27, 2005 It might look like a machine built for a childrens' playground but it's one of the most sophisticated bits of kit on, err ... near the planet. It's actually the second modernized U.S. Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS) Block IIR satellite and was successfully launched aboard a Delta II rocket earlier this week from Cape Canaveral. Known as GPS IIR-M, the modernized spacecraft are the most technologically advanced GPS satellites ever developed and are designed to significantly improve navigation performance for U.S. military and civilian users worldwide. The satellites orbit the Earth every 12 hours, emitting continuous navigation signals. The signals are so accurate, time can be figured to within one millionth of a second, velocity within a fraction of a mile-per-second and location to within 100 feet.
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