ULA Launches US Air Force AEHF-5 Satellite

6:13 AM EST from Cape Canaveral. Credit ULA

6:13 AM EST from Cape Canaveral. Credit ULA

ULA launching an Atlas V rocket, carrying an AEHF satellite for the U.S. Air Force.

Thursday's successful launch followed a rare spate of technical delays with the venture's flagship rocket.

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.

Every of the six AEHF satellites will present protection from a geostationary orbit, which means that they consistently "hover" over the identical place above the Earth by following together with the planet's rotation.

According to Lockheed Martin, "The Advanced Extremely High Frequency system provides vastly improved global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms".

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This mission launched aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, including a 5-meter large Payload Fairing (PLF) and standing at 197 ft. tall.

"In addition to the five AJ-60A solid rocket motors that helped lift the Atlas V off the launch pad, Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the RL10C-1 rocket engine that provided 22,900 lbs. of thrust to propel the rocket's Centaur upper stage", Aerojet Rocketdyne said in a release.

The sixth AEHF satellite is in production in California and is slated for launch in March 2020. The first AEHF satellite was launched in 2010.

The $1.1 billion satellite launched Thursday marked ULA's 74th mission for the US defense department and the fifth secure communications spacecraft for the Air Force's new constellation that will serve military-grade ground, sea and air communications for the USA troops, Canada, Britain, Australia, and the Netherlands.

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