United Launch Alliance teams at Cape Canaveral launched an Atlas 5 rocket at 6:13 a.m. EDT (1013 GMT) Thursday with the U.S. Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite. The AEHF 5 satellite will join a network of geostationary relay stations providing secure, jam-resistant video, voice and data links for the U.S. military.
A Blagovest communications spacecraft lifted off Monday aboard a Proton rocket to complete a network of four relay satellites in geostationary orbit for the Russian military. The Proton rocket’s Breeze M upper stage successfully delivered the Blagovest spacecraft to its intended orbit nine hours later.
SpaceX test-fired a Falcon 9 rocket at Cape Canaveral on Saturday evening, clearing the way for a delayed liftoff with the Israeli-owned Amos 17 commercial communications satellite as soon as Tuesday, assuming SpaceX can work its way into a busy schedule before a previously-planned Atlas 5 launch this week on the U.S. Air Force’s Eastern Range.