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Stacking underway for next Atlas V launch

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The Atlas V to be used for the AEHF-5 mission is being assembled at the Vertical Integration Facility at Space Launch Complex 41. Photo Credit: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

The Atlas V for use for the AEHF-5 mission is being assembled on the Vertical Integration Facility at Area Launch Complicated 41. Photograph Credit score: Michael Howard / SpaceFlight Insider

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — United Launch Alliance has begun assembling the Atlas V rocket that might be used to orbit the U.S. Air Pressure’s subsequent superior communications satellite tv for pc.

Having arrived in Florida on Might 17, 2019, the primary stage of the 204-foot (62.2-meter) tall Atlas V 551 rocket has since been put in on a cellular platform within the Vertical Integration Facility a brief distance from the pad at Cape Canaveral Air Pressure Station’s Area Launch Complicated 41.

There, 5 strap-on Aerojet stable rocket motors might be added in addition to a Centaur higher stage and a 5-meter payload fairing.

Contained in the payload fairing would be the fifth Superior Extraordinarily Excessive Frequency (AEHF-5) army communications satellite tv for pc, constructed by Lockheed Martin. The earlier AEHF satellites launched in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018, all atop an Atlas V 551 rocket.

Liftoff for the AEHF-5 mission is slated for someday in a two-hour launch window that opens at 6 a.m. EDT (10:00 GMT) June 27, 2019.

This would be the 80th flight of an Atlas V since its debut in 2002 and the 10th within the 551 configuration, which has 5 stable rocket motors, a 5-meter fairing and a single engine Centaur higher stage.

For ULA, this would be the firm’s third rocket launch of 2019. The earlier two have been Delta 4 rockets launching the NROL-71 and WGS-10 spacecraft.

After the AEHF-5 mission will get off the bottom, ULA is ready to start stacking the Atlas V that might be used for the corporate’s subsequent mission, orbiting Boeing’s CST-100 Starliner for its unpiloted Orbital Flight Take a look at to the Worldwide Area Station. That mission is scheduled to launch no sooner than August.

Cranes rotate the Atlas V first stage from horizontal to vertical to attach it to the mobile launch platform at the Vertical Integration Facility. Photo Credit: United Launch Alliance

Cranes rotate the Atlas V first stage from horizontal to vertical to connect it to the cellular launch platform on the Vertical Integration Facility. Photograph Credit score: United Launch Alliance



Derek Richardson has a level in mass media, with an emphasis in up to date journalism, from Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. Whereas at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the coed run newspaper, the Washburn Assessment. He additionally has a weblog concerning the Worldwide Area Station, referred to as Orbital Velocity. He met with members of the SpaceFlight Insider workforce in the course of the flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 rocket with the MUOS-Four satellite tv for pc. Richardson joined our workforce shortly thereafter.

His ardour for house ignited when he watched Area Shuttle Discovery launch into house Oct. 29, 1998. As we speak, this fervor has accelerated towards orbit and exhibits no indicators of slowing down. After dabbling in math and engineering programs in faculty, he quickly realized his true calling was speaking to others about house. Since becoming a member of SpaceFlight Insider in 2015, Richardson has labored to extend the standard of our content material, ultimately turning into our managing editor. @TheSpaceWriter

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