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Raumfahrt - Erfolgreicher Start von Dritten USAF AEHF Satellit

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The U.S. Air Force's third Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite, built to connect military commanders and government leadership in the event of a nuclear catastrophe, is poised to blast off Sept. 18 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.
Built by Lockheed Martin Corp., the 13,600-pound satellite was encapsulated inside the Atlas 5's five-meter-diameter payload fairing inside the Astrotech processing facility near the launch site, then transported to Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station for attachment to the launch vehicle. 
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Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.
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Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.
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Credit: Lockheed Martin Corp.
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Fitted with the third spacecraft to continue building out the U.S. Air Force's Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite system, the United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket has arrived at its launch pad after completing the first one-third of a mile of a journey to supersynchronous transfer orbit.
The voyage resumes Wednesday at 3:04 a.m. EDT (0704 GMT) with liftoff of the two-stage Atlas 5 rocket. Wednesday's launch window extends for two hours.
The countdown will begin at 8:04 p.m. EDT Tuesday (0004 GMT Wednesday), leading to activation of the rocket, final testing and system preps. Fueling operations start at 1:11 a.m. EDT (0511 GMT).
"My thanks to the entire team for its dedication in bringing AEHF 3 to launch and to the Air Force for trusting ULA to deliver this critical national security capability to orbit," said Jim Sponnick, ULA's vice president of Atlas and Delta programs.
The weather forecast from the Air Force's 45th Weather Squardon calls for 60 percent chance of violating launch constraints.
The outlook predicts scattered and broken cloud decks at 2,500, 14,000 and 30,000 feet with showers and isolated thunderstorm activity. Winds will be out of the east at 15 to 20 knots with a temperature of approximately 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
The primary concerns for Wednesday morning are violating the thick cloud and the cumulus cloud rules.
"On launch day increasing onshore low level flow and persistent tropical moisture will keep probabilities of showers and cloudy conditions high," meteorologists wrote in a forecast synopsis. "Expect showers, cloudy skies, and a chance for an isolated thunderstorm in the vicinity. Breezy onshore easterly winds gusting into the upper teens/low 20s (230 feet) are also expected."
If the launch gets pushed back to Thursday, a drier airmass should take hold over Central Florida. The probability of violating weather constraints Thursday is 40 percent.
Quelle: SN
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Quelle: ULA
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Update: 17.09.2013
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An Atlas V rocket was rolled out to its launchpad in Cape Canaveral on Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. The rocket will cary a U.S. Air Force satellite into orbit.
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CAPE CANAVERAL -- An Atlas V rocket moved toward its oceanside launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station today in advance of a planned launch early Wednesday.
The 197-foot tall United Launch Alliance rocket and its payload -- an Air Force communications satellite -- are set to lift off from Launch Complex 41 at 3:04 a.m. Wednesday. The launch window will extend through 5:04 a.m. Wednesday.
Air Force meteorologists say there is a 60 percent chance weather conditions will be acceptable for launch.
The Advanced. Extremely High Frequency satellite is the third in a series of six spacecraft that each are 10 times more capable than the satellites they ultimately will replace.
The launch will be the 40th Atlas V flight and the 75th conducted by United Launch Alliance since Boeing and Lockheed Martin formed the joint venture partnership in December 2006.
Quelle: Florida Today
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Update: 19.15 MESZ
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U.S. Air Force Ready to Launch Third Advanced Extremely High Frequency Satellite Built by Lockheed Martin
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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., Sept. 16, 2013 – The U.S. Air Force's third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite, designed and built by a Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] team, is ready to launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Launch is set for Sept. 18 with a two-hour launch window opening at 3:04 a.m. EDT.
The AEHF system provides vastly improved global, survivable, highly secure, protected communications for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. The system also serves international partners including Canada, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Canada was the first of these nations to connect to AEHF during tests with multiple terminals, and Lockheed Martin announced last week that the Netherlands is now using the system.
 “Thanks to a focused government-industry team, the third AEHF satellite is ready to launch,” said Mark Calassa, vice president of Protected Communication Systems at Lockheed Martin. “We’ve increased affordability while maintaining a focus on mission success. Our AEHF-1 and -2 satellites are delivering improved capability during on-orbit testing, having already connected three allies and 10 terminal types. From suppliers to engineers to launch operators, we are committed to our customer and this mission.”
A single AEHF satellite provides greater total capacity than the entire legacy five-satellite Milstar constellation. Individual user data rates will increase 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 provides the critical survivable, protected and endurable communications links to national leaders, including presidential conferencing in all levels of conflict.
Lockheed Martin is under contract to deliver six AEHF satellites and the Mission Control Segment. AEHF-1 and AEHF-2 are on orbit, and AEHF-4 through -6 are progressing on schedule. All satellites are assembled at the company’s Sunnyvale, Calif., facility.
Headquartered in Bethesda, Md., Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 116,000 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 2012 were $47.2 billion.
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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rolls out to Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with the Air Force’s third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-3) payload. The mission is set to liftoff on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 3:04 a.m. EDT at the opening of a two-hour launch window. Photo by Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance
Quelle: Lockheed Martin
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Update: 18.09.2013 
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Atlas V launch from Cape

Blick auf Wetter-Radar
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Frams: ULA-LIVE
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Frams: ULA-LIVE
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Update: 19.09.2013
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Start-Aufnahmen von Atlas V-531 mit USAF AEHF-3 Satelliten
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Quelle: Florida Today 
 
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by 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
9/18/2013 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The 45th Space Wing successfully launched the third Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite onboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V vehicle here Sept. 18 from launch pad
41 at 4:10 a.m. 
AEHF-1 was launched in August of 2010 and AEHF-2 was launched in May of 2012, both from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The rocket flew in the 531 vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
AEHF 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. The AEHF system is the follow-on to the Milstar system, augmenting, improving and expanding the Department of Defense's Military Satellite Communications architecture.
AEHF-3 was procured from Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company by the MILSATCOM Systems Directorate, part of the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center. The MILSATCOM Systems Directorate plans, acquires and sustains space-based global communications in support of the president, secretary of defense and combat forces. The entire MILSATCOM enterprise consists of satellites, terminals and control stations and provides communications for more than 16,000 air, land and sea platforms.
The commander of the 45th Space Wing praised the work of all those involved in making this launch a success.
"It is wonderful to witness the teamwork between our wing and all our partners involved in making this mission a success," said Brig. Gen. Nina Armagno, who also served as the Launch Decision Authority for the launch from the Morrell Operations Center here at the Cape.
"This successful launch helps to ensure that vital communications will continue to bolster our nation's military capabilities and showcases once again why the 45th Space Wing is the world's premiere gateway to space," she added. 
Quelle: USAF
 
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