The United States (US) Space Force will launch its 1st National Security Mission this afternoon. It’s sending a Lockheed Martin Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) satellite into space, onboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. The satellite will provide next-gen military communications, and it could show that Space Force is not only a Trump administration pipe dream.
The launch is a vital milestone for Space Force — the 6th branch of the military shaped as a Trump administration directive. Until now, the agency has mostly just laid out plans, requested funding, launched a Star Trek-esque logo and impressed a Netflix comedy series starring Steve Carell.
The AEHF-6 satellite will provide “vastly improved global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms,” Lockheed Martin wrote on its web site. It will circle about 22,000 miles above the Earth, and it’ll serve worldwide partners together with Canada, the Netherlands and the UK, Space.com reports.
The rocket and satellite will launch from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and the live stream will start today at 2:37 PM ET.
What’s so special about this mission?
A representative of Aerospace Corporation and AEHF’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, claimed the 6-satellite gadget provides a communications competencies for strategic command, a protected vastly advanced world, survivable and tactical warfighters working on ground, sea and air platforms.
The first five Advanced Extremely High-Frequency craft is already up, having launched in August two thousand ten, May two thousand twelve, September two thousand thirteen, October two thousand eighteen, and August two thousand nineteen, all atop Atlas V rockets. The machine has been operational for two thousand fifteen, and the satellites have a fourteen-year structure lifetime.
AEHF-6 could be the first National Security Space activity for the U.S. Space Force, which became officially arrange in December 2019.
The AEHF satellites are follow-ons to the Air Force’s Milstar satellite community and are designed to operate at the least fourteen years.
Each of the AEHF satellites, which can be all over the world to allow global coverage, provides extra capability than all the five-satellite Milstar constellation. The AEHF satellites are cross-related with each other, allowing the community to beam alerts across the sector without going through a ground station.
Col. John Dukes Jr., senior materiel chief for the geosynchronous orbit division SMC’s manufacturing corps, mentioned the project will instantly operate as quickly because it passes post-release assessments.
The Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellites provide connectivity at one of a sort specified reality rates between five bits per second to 8 megabits per second. What distinguishes the Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellites is their capability to resist jamming and protect operating, even in the event of nuclear battle.
Dukes mentioned AEHF will allow the President of the United States, countrywide leaders, and 4 worldwide allies to have the ability to speak in voice-recognizable communication. The governments of Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom have joined the program.
Dukes claimed they’ve sufficient bandwidth to service all of the terminals in our idea of operations. “By upgrading from the Milstar to the Advanced Extremely High-Frequency constellation, [we would be able to provide services] from now to 2030.”