Atlas V Rocket Lights Up Space Coast Pre-Dawn Sky, Puts U.S. Navy Satellite In Orbit
By Space Coast Daily // September 2, 2015
created an unusual smoke plume
— Andrew O’Brien (@aobrien7) September 2, 2015
BREVARD COUNTY • CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, FLORIDA – A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:18 a.m.
The launch, which was postponed due to Tropical Storm Erika, created an unusual plume about a minute into the flight, but fortunately did not prevent the rocket from putting its payload into orbit.
— ULA (@ulalaunch) September 2, 2015
According to United Launch Alliance officials, the smoke trail of the Atlas V 551 caught the sunlight at just the right angle to create to cloud in the pre-dawn sky.
Rocket/Payload: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 will launch the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin.
Date/Site/Launch Time: Wednesday, Sept. 2, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The 44-minute launch window opens at 5:59 a.m. EDT.
Mission Description: The Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed using a combination of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations to significantly improve communications for U.S. forces on the move.
MUOS will provide new beyond-line-of-sight secure communications capabilities, with smartphone-like simultaneous voice, video and data – to connect military users almost anywhere around the globe.
Launch Notes: MUOS-4 will mark the 56th Atlas V since the vehicle’s inaugural launch in August 2002 and the sixth in the 551 configuration. Previous missions launched on Atlas V 551 missions include three MUOS missions as well as the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Juno mission to Jupiter.
Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch. Hashtags: #MUOS #AtlasV
ABOVE LIVESTREAM: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday morning.