Home / Space force / Atlas 5 rocket, U.S. Air Force satellite arrive at Cape Canaveral for June launch – Spaceflight Now

Atlas 5 rocket, U.S. Air Force satellite arrive at Cape Canaveral for June launch – Spaceflight Now

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The primary stage of ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket is unloaded from the Mariner transport ship after arriving at Cape Canaveral on April 21. Credit score: United Launch Alliance

Atlas 5 rocket and a U.S. Air Pressure communications satellite tv for pc have arrived at Cape Canaveral for United Launch Alliance’s subsequent mission, scheduled for liftoff June 27.

The gear arrived on the Florida spaceport final weekend on separate shipments aboard an Air Pressure C-5 cargo aircraft and and ULA’s Mariner transport vessel.

The Air Pressure’s fifth Superior Extraordinarily Excessive Frequency communications satellite tv for pc rode a C-5 airlifter from Lockheed Martin’s manufacturing unit in Sunnyvale, California, and arrived at Cape Canaveral on April 20. The rocket-carrying Mariner transport ship arrived at Port Canaveral on April 21 after a visit from ULA’s manufacturing plant in Decatur, Alabama, delivering the primary and second levels of AEHF 5’s Atlas 5 launcher.

Groups will spend the following couple of months readying AEHF 5 and the Atlas 5 rocket for liftoff June 27 from Cape Canaveral’s Complicated 41 launch pad. The mission will mark the 80th flight of an Atlas 5 rocket since 2002, and the primary Atlas 5 launch of the 12 months.

The Atlas 5, designated AV-083, will launch in its strongest variant with 5 strap-on stable rocket boosters constructed by Aerojet Rocketdyne and a 5-meter-diameter (17.7-foot) payload fairing made by Ruag House, a configuration referred to as the Atlas 5-551 that has flown 9 instances earlier than. The 5 solid-fueled motors will present an additional enhance to the Atlas 5’s first stage, powered by a Russian-made RD-180 most important engine that burns kerosene and liquid oxygen propellants.

The mixed energy of the boosters and most important engine will give the Atlas 5 round 2.6 million kilos of thrust at liftoff.

ULA’s Mariner transport ship carries rocket from the corporate’s manufacturing unit in Decatur, Alabama, to launch websites in Florida and California. Credit score: United Launch Alliance

Staff unloaded the Atlas 5’s first stage and Centaur higher stage, powered by an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine, from the Mariner transport ship Monday. ULA groups transferred the primary stage to the Atlas House Operations Middle for checkouts earlier than it’s stacked vertically on the cell launch platform on the Complicated 41 launch pad. The Centaur higher stage might be be built-in with an interstage adapter and the decrease a part of the Atlas 5’s payload shroud within the coming weeks, in response to ULA.

Floor crews will hoist the Atlas 5 first stage, 5 stable rocket boosters and the Centaur higher stage on the cell launch desk contained in the Vertical Integration Facility at Complicated 41. Working in a close-by clear room, technicians will gasoline the AEHF 5 satellite tv for pc and encapsulate the spacecraft contained in the Atlas 5’s nostril cone earlier than elevating the payload atop the launcher contained in the VIF.

The launch of AEHF 5 follows Atlas 5 missions that deployed 4 earlier AEHF satellites in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018.

The AEHF satellites present safe communications providers to the U.S. navy, working collectively in a community the Air Pressure says is resilient to jamming, cyber assaults, and even nuclear warfare. The AEHF spacecraft are positioned in geostationary orbit greater than 22,000 miles (almost 36,000 kilometers) over the equator, utilizing a cross-linked structure permitting the satellites to relay indicators between each other with out transmitting to floor stations.

The spacecraft are constructed by Lockheed Martin, with communications payloads produced by Northrop Grumman.

Artist’s idea of an AEHF satellite tv for pc in orbit. Credit score: U.S. Air Pressure/Lockheed Martin

“The payload helps communication missions with elevated protection, capability, and protections towards digital jamming which supplies our warfighters the most effective benefit towards our adversaries,” stated Brig. Gen. Steve Whitney, program govt officer for the House Manufacturing Corps.

The AEHF community can also be utilized by Canada, the UK and the Netherlands, and replaces the Air Pressure’s getting older Milstar constellation.

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Observe Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

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