ULA Atlas V Lofts USAF Protected Comm Sat

ULA Atlas V Lofts USAF Protected Comm Sat

The satellite was meant to provide the military with "jam-resistant" and enhanced communication, according to a Space and Missile Systems Center press release.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V launched the U.S. Air Force's fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite early August 8 after several delays.The Atlas V 551 took off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral and delivered it toward a high-perigee, low-inclination geosynchronous transfer orbit.

For ULA, this is another win in an unbroken streak - it's the 90th Atlas V launch to date, with 100% success across all those launches. The squadron began "flying" the satellite shortly after it separated from its United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket approximately 5 hours and 40 minutes after the rocket's successful 6:13 a.m. ET liftoff. Aboard is the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, created to provide the US military with highly-secure communications. The AEHF system, developed by Lockheed Martin, provides global, survivable, and protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters, according to the ULA.

More news: RIP David Berman of Silver Jews and Purple Mountains
More news: Largest Workplace Immigration Operation in Decade Results in 680 Arrests
More news: Tucker Carlson Calls White Supremacy a "HOAX"

The sixth Air Force satellite in the constellation is set to launch in March 2020. "Our propulsion systems support this mission from the launch pad to orbit to final end-of-life decommissioning of the satellite". This is the configuration that provides Atlas V with the most lift and payload capacity, which was necessary in this case because of the weight of the AEHF-5 satellite at almost 14,000 lbs, combined with its target orbit.

The AEHF-5 mission was originally slated for lift-off on June 27, but a battery issue pushed that date to July 9.

In a first for the Air Force, the rocket's upper stage was also to release into orbit an experimental cubesat, or small satellite, to test technology for tracking orbital debris.

Related Articles