A new branch of the American army created in late 2019, the US Space Force will send a rocket into space. Designed by the United Launch Alliance, a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the Atlas V launcher is scheduled to take off from Cape Canaveral on March 26 at 2:57 p.m. (7:47 p.m. PST), with a two-hour launch window. This is the very first launch under the command of the new American space force.
Atlas V will orbit the sixth and last satellite in a constellation of military communications devices in geostationary orbit. Called Advanced extremely High Frequency (AEHF), they replace the old American communication system Milstar. Designed by Lockheed Martin Space Systems, each unit cost $ 850 million (more than € 775 million). The first five were placed in orbit between 2010 and 2019.
Operations maintained despite Covid-19
Despite the spread of the Covid-19 virus and the suppression of certain public presentation events, the United Launch Alliance was able to continue its essential activities. The implementation of an internal pandemic plan enabled it to ensure the proper preparation of the rocket.
Elsewhere in the world, certain space bases have been forced to close and events have been reported. In French Guiana, the Kourou space center has suspended its activity. The American-New Zealand space company Rocket Lab announced on March 25 that its next mission, originally scheduled for March 30, would not take place for the moment, due to the confinement in New Zealand.
In the United States, the federal government does not yet seem to resolve to set up a general containment. For the moment, the main American space bases, such as Cape Canaveral and the Vandenberg Air Force Base, remain open and operations continue.
The very first launch of the US Space Force will be streamed live via the YouTube channel below.
(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBkB1BbblN0 (/ embed)