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Satnews Daily
January 19th, 2015

 U.S. Navy's MUOS Mobile Warfighters...Weighs In As Heaviest Payload Atop ULA's Atlas 5 

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. (July 23, 2014) - A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket stands ready for launch at Space Launch Complex-41 with the MUOS-3 payload. Launch is scheduled for Tuesday, January 20 at 7:43 p.m. EDT.

[SatNews] The launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-3 payload for the U.S. Navy is set to lift off on Tuesday, January 20 from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 7:43 p.m. EST. Monday’s L-2 forecast shows a 70 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

The third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite will ensure continued mission capability of the existing Ultra-High Frequency Satellite Communications (UHF SATCOM) system, and is the third satellite in the next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system that will provide significantly improved and assured communications for the mobile warfighter. The MUOS constellation will ultimately replace the current UHF SATCOM system, providing military users with 10 times more communications capac- ity over existing systems, including simultaneous voice (full-duplex) and data, leveraging 3G mobile communications technology. 

The MUOS-3 satellite will be the heaviest payload to ride into space atop any of ULA’s Atlas V launch vehicles. The Atlas V will generate more than two and half million pounds of thrust at liftoff in order to meet the demands of lifting the nearly 7.5-ton satellite.

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is proud to be a part of the deployment of the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite constellation.

From its vantage point in geostationary orbit, the MUOS-3 satellite will cover approximately a third of the Earth’s surface and uses its 14-meter diameter reflecting mesh antenna to communicate with ground-based users. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the MUOS prime contractor and system integrator. 

The ULA team is focused on attaining Perfect Product Delivery for the MUOS-3 mission, which includes a relentless focus on mission success (the perfect product) and also excellence and continuous improvement in meeting all of the needs its customers (the perfect delivery).

The Mobile User Objective System will provide netcentric use of UHF SATCOM as well as the following enabling capabilities:

• Beyond line-of-site communication for mobile warfighters with focus on usability.

• Global communications to connect any set of users, regardless of location with the exception of polar regions.

• Improved connectivity in stressed environments including urban canyons, mountains, jungle, weather and scintillation.

• “Bandwidth on Demand” architecture that is future upgradeable with “smarts” on the ground and accessibility to Global Information Grid (GIG), Non-secure Internet Protocol Router Network (NIPRNet), Secure Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPRNet), and Defense Information Systems Network (DISN). 

At 7:23 p.m.: The MUOS-3 launch will be carried live beginning 20 minutes prior to launch. A simulcast of the broadcast can be viewed here: http://www.ulalaunch.com

Weather Forecast

Launch day overall probability of violating weather constraints: 20 percent

Primary concern: Thick Clouds

24-hour delay overall probability of violating weather constraints: 30 percent

Primary concern: Cumulus Clouds