The First U.S. Space Force Launch Is Today
Watch the new military branch live stream the satellite launch
While everything on planet Earth seems to have ground to a halt because of the coronavirus, the U.S. Space Force is still moving ahead with its first official mission.
On Thursday at 2:57 p.m. Eastern, the United Launch Alliance will send a communications satellite into orbit for the — I can’t believe I’m writing this — new sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, as The Verge reported.
The rocket is ULA’s Atlas V 551 configuration, as the company notes in a press release. It produces more than 2.5 million pounds of thrust and has previously launched missions to Pluto and Jupiter.
For the Space Force, the payload will be AEHF-6, the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, which will join five others to “provide global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea, and air platforms,” according to the mission page.
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The countdown is ticking for this afternoon's launch of the #AtlasV and #AEHF6 from Cape Canaveral. This first dedicated launch for the United States Space Force is targeting a liftoff at 2:57pmEDT (1857 UTC). Our live blog is underway from launch control at: bit.ly/av_aehf6z a
“Takeoff of ULA’s Atlas V is scheduled for 2:57PM ET out of Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the company has a two-hour launch window to get the rocket in the air. ULA plans to provide live coverage of the launch starting at 2:37PM ET,” writes The Verge.
You can find that live coverage on YouTube right here:
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