A Block IIF GPS satellite
Mission typeNavigation
OperatorUS Air Force
COSPAR ID2014-045A[1]
SATCAT no.40105[1]
Mission duration12 years (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftGPS SVN-68 (IIF-7)
Spacecraft typeGPS Block IIF
Launch mass1,630 kilograms (3,590 lb)[2]
Start of mission
Launch date2 August 2014, 03:23 (2014-08-02UTC03:23Z) UTC
RocketAtlas V 401, AV-048[3]
Launch siteCape Canaveral SLC-41[3]
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric
RegimeMedium Earth
Perigee altitude20,341 km (12,639 mi)[4]
Apogee altitude20,469 km (12,719 mi)[4]
Inclination55.02 degrees[4]
Period727.05 minutes[4]
Epoch2 August 2014

USA-256, also known as GPS IIF-7, GPS SVN-68 and NAVSTAR 71, is an American navigation satellite which forms part of the Global Positioning System. It was the seventh of twelve Block IIF satellites to be launched.[2]


Built by Boeing and launched by United Launch Alliance, USA-256 was launched at 03:23 UTC on 2 August 2014, atop an Atlas V 401 carrier rocket, vehicle number AV-048.[3] The launch took place from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station,[5] and placed USA-256 directly into medium Earth orbit.[4]


As of 3 August 2014, USA-256 was in an orbit with a perigee of 20,341 kilometers (12,639 mi), an apogee of 20,469 kilometers (12,719 mi), a period of 727.05 minutes, and 55.02 degrees of inclination to the equator.[4] It is used to broadcast the PRN 09 signal, and operates in slot 6 of plane F of the GPS constellation. The satellite has a design life of 12 years and a mass of 1,630 kilograms (3,590 lb). [2] It is currently in service following commissioning on September 17, 2014.[6]


  1. ^ a b "Navstar 71". US National Space Science Data Center. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Krebs, Gunter. "GPS-2F (Navstar-2F)". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  3. ^ a b c McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  4. ^ a b c d e f McDowell, Jonathan. "Satellite Catalog". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch List". Launch Vehicle Database. Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  6. ^ "NOTICE ADVISORY TO NAVSTAR USERS (NANU) 2014071". United States Coast Guard. Retrieved 18 September 2014.