Everything is progressing toward the ULA Atlas V launch carrying the AEHF-5 mission for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. The mission is set to lift off on Thursday, August 8 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Today’s forecast shows an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch. The two hour launch window begins at 5:44 a.m. ET.
Launch Forecast Summary:
- Overall probability of violating weather constraints: 20 percent
- Primary concerns: Attached and Detached Anvil Cloud Rules
- Overall probability of violating weather constraints for 24 hour delay: 10 percent
- Primary concern: Attached and Detached Anvil Cloud Rules
The upcoming launch of the Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite requires the maximize satellite on-orbit capability available, thus SMC ordered the Atlas V 551 for this mission, the most powerful Atlas rocket available. This lift-off will mark the 10th Atlas V 551 launch and 80th Atlas V launch.
Launch of the AEHF-5 satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V launch vehicle is set for August 8, 2019, with the launch window opening at 05:44 a.m. EDT. A live broadcast will begin 20 minutes before launch and webcast is available here. The USAF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC), completed it’s roll out to Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad.
The SMC-procured AEHF is a joint-service satellite communications system providing survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets. AEHF also provides protected satellite communications to their international partners Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Australia. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the DOD’s Military Satellite Communications (MILSATCOM) architecture.
The Production Corps, SMC’s Agile capabilities delivery arm, leads the AEHF team, and Air Force Space Command operates the AEHF system. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company is the AEHF prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems is the payload developer and manufacturer.