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GPS satellite blasts off from Cape Canaveral

11/8/2004 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- A Delta II launch vehicle carried a Global Positioning System satellite nearly 11,000 miles above Earth from here Nov. 6.

The satellite replaces one of 24 in the constellation that experts call the most accurate navigation aid ever for U.S. warfighters.

The constellation provides continuous, precise three-dimensional location information (latitude, longitude and altitude), velocity and exact time to worldwide users. The satellite is expected to be fully operational in about four weeks.

"America relies heavily on space and missile forces for its national defense," said Col. Mark Owen, 45th Space Wing commander here. "Military leaders can destroy a target with one GPS-guided bomb that took an average of 648 bombs to destroy in World War II.

"This satellite joins a constellation that is playing a stellar role in ensuring U.S. warfighters have the tools needed to continue to fight and win today and in the years ahead," he said.

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