Early risers in Florida saw a fiery streak in the twilit sky on Thursday, August 8, as an Atlas V rocket carrying a military communications satellite was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. Built by Lockheed Martin, the satellites are used for highly protected communications by high-priority military assets and national leaders. Constructed by Lockheed Martin, AEHF constellation will in the end encompass six satellites that may present world and safe communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters on the bottom, within the air and at sea, Lockheed Martin officers stated in a description of the mission.
This mission launched aboard an Atlas V 551 configuration vehicle, including a 5-meter large Payload Fairing (PLF) and standing at 197 ft. tall. Aboard is the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite, created to provide the USA military with highly-secure communications.
"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 satellite, code-named AEHF-5 (for the fifth 'Advanced Extremely High Frequency" spacecraft) is already communicating with USAF on the ground, indicating full mission success. "In the weeks ahead, AEHF-5 will move towards its operational orbit, deploy all of its solar arrays and antennas, and turn on its powerful communications payload for a rigorous testing phase prior to hand over to the Air Force". One of the AEHF satellites contains more capacity than an entire set of MILSTAR satellites, said launching agency of United Launch Alliance. At 6:29 AM launch data showed that the first burn by Centaur inserted the rocket into the target orbit as planned.