A United Launch Atlas 5 rocket is set to launch the U.S. Air Force’s fourth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite from Cape Canaveral. This timeline shows the major mission events planned over a three-and-a-half-hour flight to an optimized geostationary transfer orbit.
The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket, propelled by an RD-180 main engine and five solid rocket boosters, is set for liftoff during a two-hour launch window Wednesday that opens at 12:15 a.m. EDT (0415 GMT).
The AEHF 4 mission will be the 79th flight of an Atlas 5 rocket, and the fifth Atlas 5 launch of 2018.
Built by Lockheed Martin, the AEHF 4 satellite joins three previous satellites in the AEHF constellation launched by Atlas 5 rockets in 2010, 2012 and 2013. With four AEHF satellites in orbit, the Air Force’s new generation of secure, nuclear-hardened voice, video and data relay spacecraft will provide global coverage.
An overview of the Atlas 5/AEHF 4 launch sequence and a ground track map illustrating the rocket’s path after liftoff are are posted below.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, equipped with three strap-on solid-propellant boosters for added performance, was transfered from its assembly building to the pad at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 today for Sunday’s launch of the commercial EchoStar 19 communications satellite.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was transferred from its assembly building to the pad at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 today for Friday’s launch of NASA’s Tracking and Data Relay Satellite-M that directly supports the International Space Station and various science missions.