The last unflown variant of United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 launcher — fitted with a five-meter fairing and a single strap-on solid rocket booster — will carry a pair of U.S. military space surveillance satellites toward geosynchronous orbit from Cape Canaveral late this year, according to a Space Force spokesperson.
The sixth and final satellite in the U.S. military’s network of ultra-secure, nuclear-hardened AEHF communications relay stations has arrived in Florida for final preparations for liftoff in March on a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, the first of nearly 20 U.S. Space Force missions planned for launch in the first year of operations for the new military service.
The United Launch Alliance Delta 4 rocket, standing 206 feet tall and and weighing 720,000 pounds, unleashes 1.1 million pounds of thrust from its main engine and two side-mounted boosters at 12:52 a.m. EDT (0452 today to launch the GSSAP No. 3 and No. 4 satellites for the Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program from Cape Canaveral.