Rocket launch scheduled for Thursday at 2:57 pm from Cape Canaveral

US Space Force to Launch AEHF-6 for Protected SATCOMs

US Space Force to Launch AEHF-6 for Protected SATCOMs

With the force of more than 2.5 million pounds of thrust, the United Launch Alliance rocket equipped with five solid rocket motors boosted a 14,500-pound military communications satellite, setting it up for a separation from the second stage about six hours after its 4:18 p.m liftoff.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - The newly established U.S. Space Force launched its first national security satellite Thursday with a leaner staff because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The new network provides global coverage for national leaders and tactical warfighters operating on the ground, at sea or in the air, Lockheed said.

The AEHF-6 proceeded despite the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Beyond that, SpaceX was slated to launch a batch of 60 more Starlink communications satellites in mid-April, but it remains to be seen if the company will be able to fly given the rapidly changing pandemic.

An Atlas V rocket launch is scheduled to launch Thursday afternoon at Cape Canaveral, sending a high frequency satellite into space.

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"While this is the final AEHF satellite launch, it really brings the constellation to full strength, capability and truly marks the beginning of the AEHF system's full life cycle", said Mike Cacheiro, vice president for protected communications at Lockheed Martin.

The SAOCOM1B satellite is being launched for Argentina's Space Agency, the Comisión Nacional de Actividades Espaciales (CONAE).

Schiess mentioned the Space Force is taking all precautions, together with the rotation of launch crews and proscribing interplay between these crews, and sitting additional aside within the operations center.

Argentinian officials cited travel restrictions as the reason for the delayed launch of the Earth observation satellite.

"Nothing stops the space launch mission!" the 45th Space Wing tweeted from Cape Canaveral.

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