Delta 2 deploys GPS 2R-20M
3/24/09 ~ 4:34am

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A Delta 2 rocket deploys the latest Global Positioning System satellite, GPS 2R-20M, on March 24 at 4:34am EDT. This was the 48th and next-to-last GPS spacecraft to be launched by a Delta 2, a rocket designed with the pinpoint-precision fleet in mind. The very first Delta 2, in 1989, launched the first of what would become the ever-upgraded GPS constellation. 2R-20M is the seventh of eight 'modernized' GPS satellites to be launched.

Above, the six ground-lit SRBs separate 62 seconds into flight as the first stage main engine and three air-lit SRBs continue the Delta 2's push to space.

<--- Kepler                                                   GPS 2R-21M --->
Distant shots and wide angle from press viewing area, 2.2 miles from pad: