Space Force Decommissions 26-year-old GPS Satellite To Make Way For GPSIII Constellation

The 2nd Space Operations Squadron decommissioned Satellite Vehicle Number-36, the second to last Block IIA satellite, Jan. 27. Capt. Collin Dart, 2nd SOPS assistant flight commander of GPS mission engineering, said the disposal of SVN-36 will allow for newer vehicles to take it’s place.

“The main reason it was decommissioned was because, at this time, we’re accepting a lot of the new generation GPS IIIs,” he said. “We’re trying to open up the constellation to accept more of those new vehicles.”

Initially launched March 10, 1994, the satellite exceeded its estimated design life of around seven years, serving operationally for nearly 26 years. First Lt. Kristina Brandes, 2nd SOPS chief GPS sub-systems analyst, credited maintenance for exceeding its design life.

“The disposal of SVN-36 won’t have an effect on any holes or signal outages,” she said. “We still maintain 31 operational satellites and 35 total satellites in our constellation.”

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