United Launch Alliance has granted “flight clearance” for its workhorse Atlas 5 rocket to resume satellite deployments after linking an errant valve with the fuel usage crunch on its most recent mission and tweaking subsequent vehicles.
The U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System communications satellite No. 5 was encapsulated in the payload fairing at Astrotech on June 4 and then hoisted atop the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket at Complex 41 on June 13.
After a quarter-century readying Global Positioning System satellites for launch at a Cape Canaveral Air Force Station processing hub, the final bird rolled out Saturday as the navigation program transitions to a new era.
This collection of photographs shows the Air Force’s Global Positioning System 2F-11 navigation satellite being encapsulated in the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 nose cone and hoisted atop the rocket for flight.