United Launch Alliance Successful Flight of AV-031 AEHF-2 for the US Military

 

Liftoff of the United Launch Alliance Atlas-V-531 Rocket with the USAF’s AEHF-2 Spacecraft was at 2:42pm EDT local, SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Successful spacecraft separation occurredat T+51 minutes and 18 seconds.

United Launch Alliance Press Release:

United Launch Alliance Marks 60th Successful Launch by Delivering the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-2 Satellite to Orbit for the U.S. Air Force

Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., (May 4, 2012) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-2 (AEHF-2) satellite for the United States Air Force lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 here at 2:42 p.m. EDT today. This was ULA’s 4th launch of an aggressive 11 mission schedule for the year and marks the 30th Atlas V mission and the 60th launch for ULA.

“ULA is proud to serve alongside our mission partners and privileged that the Air Force entrusts the ULA team to deliver critical national security capability to orbit for our soldiers, sailors, airman and Marines around the world,” said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. “Through our focus on attaining Perfect Product Delivery, ULA remains dedicated to providing reliable, cost-effective launch services while continuing our unwavering commitment to 100 percent mission success. Today’s successful launch was the 60th since ULA was formed just over five years ago and we congratulate the AEHF team on this important step toward delivering these critical protected communications capabilities.”

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 531 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter diameter RUAG Space payload fairing along with three Aerojet solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10A engine.

The AEHF constellation is a joint-service satellite communications system that will provide survivable, global, secure, protected and jam-resistant communications for high-priority military ground, sea and air assets.

Developed by the United States Air Force to provide assured access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads, the EELV Program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.

ULA’s next launch is the Atlas V NROL-38 mission for the National Reconnaissance Office scheduled June 18 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.     Download AV-031 AEHF-2 Mission Booklet Here

For more information on ULA, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch.

Lockheed Martin Press Release:

SECOND ADVANCED EHF MILITARY COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITE BUILT BY LOCKHEED MARTIN LAUNCHED SUCCESSFULLY FOR THE U.S. AIR FORCE

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., May 4, 2012 – The second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-2) military communication satellite, built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team for the U.S. Air Force, was successfully launched today from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket.

AEHF builds on the success of the Lockheed Martin-built Milstar constellation currently on-orbit by providing vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. AEHF will also serve international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will be increased five-fold, permitting transmission of tactical military communications, such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data. In addition to its tactical mission, AEHF also provides the critical survivable, protected, and endurable communications links to national leaders including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.

“AEHF is integral to our national security space architecture, providing significantly improved protected communications capabilities for both tactical and strategic users,” said Kevin Bilger, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of Global Communications Systems. “Our team is focused on performing a timely and efficient satellite checkout to deliver mission success for our customer.”

The AEHF team includes the U.S. Air Force Military Satellite Communications Systems Directorate at the Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, Calif., is the AEHF prime contractor, space and ground segments provider as well as system integrator, with Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, Redondo Beach, Calif., as the payload provider.

Lockheed Martin is currently under contract to provide four AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. The program has begun advanced procurement of long-lead components for the fifth and sixth AEHF satellites.

Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services. The Corporation’s net sales for 2011 were $46.5 billion.

For low- and high-resolution JPEG image files of AEHF, please visit: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/aehf

 

 

Video/Photo Credit: Pat Corkery with United Launch Alliance

 

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