Atlas V Rocket Lights Up Space Coast Pre-Dawn Sky, Puts U.S. Navy Satellite In Orbit

By  //  September 2, 2015

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created an unusual smoke plume

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Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. (Sept. 2, 2015) – A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 at 6:18 a.m.

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.

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.

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A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:18 a.m. (ULA image)

FLIGHT STATS:

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.

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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

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 will launch the U.S. Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite on Aug. 31 at 4:07 a.m. from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 will launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 5:59 a.m. (NASA.gov image)

ABOVE LIVESTREAM: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 551 launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Wednesday morning.


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