Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Weather 80% 'GO' For Atlas V Rocket Launch From Cape Canaveral

(MUOS-5) satellite
The fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing on June 4, 2016.  It is scheduled to launch June 24, 2016 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida -- The U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin are scheduled to launch the MUOS-5 military communications satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 configuration rocket on Friday, June 24, 2016, from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  


The launch window opens at 10:30 a.m. and closes 11:14 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time.


Launch Weather 80% 'GO'

According to the latest weather forecast from the United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 80% percent chance overall of acceptable weather conditions for Friday's launch.  The primary weather concern for launch is cumulus clouds. 

MISSION PAYLOAD:

The Atlas V's payload is a U.S. Navy communications satellite dubbed MUOS, an acronym for Mobile User Objective System. The fifth (MUOS-5) satellite  joins four MUOS satellites already on orbit and four operational ground stations, providing near-global coverage including communications deep into polar regions. 

More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade. Users with operational MUOS terminals can seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the world and into the Global Information Grid. MUOS’ new commercial, cellular-based capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, over a secure high-speed Internet Protocol-based system. 

“Like its predecessors, MUOS-5 has two payloads to support both these new Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) waveform capabilities, as well as the legacy Ultra High Frequency (UHF) satellite system, used by many mobile forces today,” said Mark Woempner, program director of Lockheed Martin’s Narrowband Communications mission area. “On orbit, MUOS-5 will augment the constellation as a WCDMA spare, while actively supporting the legacy UHF system.”

Once fully operational, MUOS will provide users with 16 times more communications capacity than the legacy system it will eventually replace. 

Photo and live broadcast video credit: ULA