Wednesday, 11 December, 2019


Atlas V Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral Leaves Dazzling Trail

6:13 AM EST from Cape Canaveral. Credit ULA 6:13 AM EST from Cape Canaveral. Credit ULA
Kristine Garrett | 09 August, 2019, 12:41

The satellites are meant to replace the MILSTAR satellites already in orbit since the early 2000s.

AEHF satellites provide secure, jam-proof connectivity for USA national leadership and deployed military forces.

Early risers across Florida were treated to a morning spectacle Thursday when a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket vaulted off the pad at Cape Canaveral, its massive exhaust plume illuminated by sunlight waiting just over the horizon.

"The ULA and supplier teams continue to demonstrate the highest dedication to mission success as we overcame several technical issues during the last few weeks", said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs.

The rocket will deploy an advanced communications satellite for the U.S. Air Force, according to the NASA website.

Lockheed Martin designed, processed and manufactured all five on-orbit AEHF satellites at its advanced satellite manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale, California.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifts off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., August 8, 2019. "AEHF affords national leaders anti-jam, always-on connectivity during all levels of conflict and enables both strategic and tactical users to communicate globally across a high-speed network that delivers protected communications in any environment".

Approximately four and a half minutes after liftoff, the Atlas V's Centaur upper stage separated from the rocket's central core and its RL10C-1 engine was ignited.

The sixth AEHF satellite is in production in California and is slated for launch in March 2020.

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.

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