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AEHF 5 lights up the sky atop ULA Atlas V 551

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019. Photo Credit: Vikash Mahadeo / SpaceFlight Insider

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Drive Station’s House Launch Complicated 41 in Florida on Thursday, Aug. eight, 2019. Photograph Credit score: Vikash Mahadeo / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance accomplished its third flight of the 12 months on Thursday, Aug. eight. The flight received off the pad and soared into the early morning sky slightly later than deliberate.

ULA used an Atlas V 551 rocket to ship the fifth Superior Extraordinarily Excessive Frequency (AEHF-5) satellite tv for pc on its approach to geosynchronous orbit. The launch window was slated to open at 5:44 a.m. EDT (09:44 UTC), however ULA wanted slightly extra time to work points that they encountered within the lead as much as launch. When all was mentioned and carried out, the satellite tv for pc was despatched into the sky at 6:13 a.m. EDT (10:13 UTC).

At T-Zero, the RD-180 principal engine and 5 SRBs ignited, sending the Atlas hovering away from the pad. At 1 minute and 46 seconds into flight, the primary pair of solids have been jettisoned. Then a second and a half later, the final three AJ-60A boosters have been additionally jettisoned.

This morning's flight started further into the launch window due to technical issues. Photo Credit: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

This morning’s flight began additional into the launch window attributable to technical points. Photograph Credit score: Mike Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

At about three minutes and 23 seconds into the flight, the payload fairing separated. It will expose the $1.1 billion satellite tv for pc to its supposed surroundings – the vacuum of area. After burning for roughly Four minutes and 26 seconds, the primary stage shut down and separated from the Centaur higher stage six seconds later.

A number of seconds after stage separation, the Centaur ignited for the primary of three burns. This preliminary burn positioned Centaur and AEHF-5 right into a round parking orbit. The Centaur shut down at 11 minutes and 42 seconds after leaving the pad and start a coast part. After coasting for slightly bit greater than 11 minutes, Centaur reignited over Africa and start a six-minute burn that positioned each autos right into a switch orbit.

Centaur and AEHF-5 will now coast for about 5 hours as much as the apogee of the spacecraft’s orbit. After the lengthy coast, Centaur will reignite for the third and ultimate time for a three-minute burn that ought to circularize the spacecraft’s orbit. At T plus 5 hours and 40 minutes, Centaur is scheduled to launch AEHF-5 into orbit.

Advanced Extreme High Frequency AEHF satellite on orbit above Earth Lockheed Martin image posted on SpaceFlight Insider

Artist’s depiction of AEHF satellite tv for pc in orbit. Picture Credit score: Lockheed Martin

After separation, AEHF-5 will start orbit elevating maneuvers. It would use its on-board liquid apogee engine in a collection of three burns to boost its apogee. After these burns, AEHF-5 will use electrical Corridor-effect ion thrusters to position itself in its ultimate orbit. These thrusters will burn constantly for nearly 70 days.

“We’re thrilled to return to the Cape to launch AEHF-5 lower than a 12 months after launching AEHF-Four, displaying an accelerated tempo to assist the Air Drive House and Missiles Programs Heart,” mentioned Mike Cacheiro, vp of Protected Communications at Lockheed Martin House mentioned through a launch issued in May. “AEHF-Four arrived to its on-orbit operational place a month early, the place it demonstrated Prolonged Information Charge (XDR) connectivity. That is an thrilling time the place we’re witnessing the deployment of important capabilities of the present 4 AEHF satellites in geosynchronous orbit, which give ten occasions higher capability than the unique Milstar constellation. The AEHF system is actually a excessive capability knowledge community within the sky, and this can be a full paradigm shift for the way forward for protected communications.”

The Atlas line of rockets can hint its lineage again to the earliest days of the House Age. Atlas was the primary rocket to ship U.S. astronauts to orbit. In 1961, John Glenn’s Friendship 7 lifted of from Canaveral’s SLC-14 atop Atlas LV-3B 109-D.

The launch of AEHF-5 marked the third that ULA has conducted in 2019. Photo Credit: Scott Schilke / SpaceFlight Insider

The launch of AEHF-5 marked the third that ULA has carried out in 2019. Photograph Credit score: Scott Schilke / SpaceFlight Insider






Patrick Attwell is a local of Houston, Texas however he presently resides in Austin, Texas the place he research accounting at Concordia College Texas. Atwell has had a ardour for all issues pertaining to aerospace, rocketry, and aviation. Atwell has labored to cowl these fields for greater than a decade. After he attended and watched the launch of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission it gave him what is thought within the area neighborhood as “rocket fever.” Since that point, Atwell has adopted his desires and has coated occasions coping with NASA’s Industrial Crew flight assignments at NASA’s Johnson House Heart and different space-related occasions within the Lone Star State.

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