For the first time, the US Space Force will actually go to space today

  • United Launch Alliance will attempt to launch its Atlas V rocket
    Thursday. [credit: United Launch Alliance ]

United Launch Alliance says its Atlas V rocket is ready to
launch on Thursday from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in
Florida. Liftoff is set for 2:57pm (18:57 UTC) for the national
security mission, which has a two-hour launch window. This is the
first launch under the command of the newly constituted US Space
Force.

For this mission, the Atlas V rocket will boost the sixth and
final satellite in a constellation of military communications
satellites in geostationary orbit. The “Advanced Extremely High
Frequency” (AEHF) satellites are replacing the older Milstar
communications system. The individual satellites cost $850 million
each, and this AEHF-6 satellite to be launched Thursday was built
by Lockheed Martin Space Systems. The previous five AEHF satellites
launched on Atlas V rockets from 2010 to 2019.

While United Launch Alliance has scaled back some aspects of its
outreach for this mission due to the spread of Covid-19—for
example, a social media event has already been canceled—the
company is following protocols outlined in its internal Pandemic
Plan and pressing ahead with essential activities.

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Source: FS – All – Science – News
For the first time, the US Space Force will actually go to space today