AEHF-1 Rides Atlas V To Orbit

[/caption]

The U.S. Air Force successfully launched the first Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite (AEHF-1) on top of a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket Saturday, Aug. 14 at 7:07 a.m. EDT. The Atlas V lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC 41) riding a pillar of flame across the morning sky. The window for the launch was two hours long, however it wasn’t needed, the launch occurred on the first attempt. 

“As we expected it was a totally successful launch.” said U.S. Air Force Captain Glorimar Rodriguez.

The AEHF constellation of satellites will replace the aging Milstar satellites. The more-modern AEHF is designed to ensure rapid communications for military leaders. This new, jam-proof system will be the link between the president and the armed forces in the event of a nuclear attack. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor to construct both the AEHF fleet of satellites as well as the mission control center where the satellites will be operated.

AEHF launch. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today

There are a number of U.S. allies that are involved with the AEHF program and can use these satellites once the system is activated. Some of these allies include the Netherlands, Canada and the United Kingdom.

When the system is complete it will be comprised of three functioning satellites and a spare satellite. These satellites will be inter-connected and are capable of communicating with one another. They will provide the military with vital communications-related data including, but not limited to, maps, video and targeting data. When operational, the AEHF constellation will be operated by the 4th Space Operations Squadron, who are stationed at Schriever Air Force Base, CO.

Pre-launch. Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 41. Credit: Alan Walters (awaltersphoto.com) for Universe Today
Jason Rhian

Jason has degrees in journalism and public relations. He has covered over 30 launches as well as other space-related events – including flying with Commander Chris Ferguson as he trained for the final shuttle mission, the president's visit to KSC and from Utah during the test of the five-segment DM-2 booster.

Recent Posts

A Recently Discovered Double Binary System is Unstable. Stars Could Collide, Leading to a Supernova

A quadruple binary star system may reveal a common source of the supernovae we use…

18 hours ago

Cosmic Rays can Help Keep the World's Clocks in Sync

The world has a robust, accurate timekeeping system that regulates our clocks. Humanity uses it…

19 hours ago

A CubeSat is Flying to the Moon to Make Sure Lunar Gateway’s Orbit is Actually Stable

To validate the Lunar Gateway's orbit around the lunar poles (a halo orbit), NASA is…

2 days ago

What’s the Right Depth to Search for Life on Icy Worlds?

Are we alone? Is there life beyond Earth? These are the questions that plague the…

4 days ago

Astronomers Finally Catch a Nova Detonating on a White Dwarf as it's Happening

On July 7, 2020, the X-ray instrument eROSITA captured an astronomical event that – until…

4 days ago

This is it! Meet the Supermassive Black Hole at the Heart of the Milky Way

The Event Horizon Telescope has just released the first images of Sagittarius A*, the supermassive…

4 days ago