(Source : Space.com – Mike Wall) – The first US Space Force national security mission will launch today.

AEHF-6 will complete a next-gen communications constellation.

A next-generation military communications satellite will launch today (March 26) on the first national security mission for the United States Space Force, and you can watch the liftoff live.

The sixth and final Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite, or AEHF-6, is scheduled to lift off atop a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday during a two-hour window that opens at 2:57 p.m. EDT (1857 GMT).
The six-satellite system “provides vastly improved global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms,” representatives of aerospace company Lockheed Martin, the prime contractor for AEHF, wrote in a mission description. “The jam-resistant system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.”

The first five AEHF craft are already up, having launched in August 2010, May 2012, September 2013, October 2018 and August 2019, all atop Atlas V rockets. The system has been operational since 2015, and the satellites have a 14-year design lifetime. (…)

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Photo © United Launch Alliance, as published in ibid