The primary official launch for the brand new U.S. Space Force is scheduled to carry off from Florida on Thursday afternoon with an army communications satellite aboard. The launch is deliberate at 2:57 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Complex 41 on a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket with boosters connected. A two-hour launch window is in place in case of delays.
The rocket will carry the sixth in a collection of next-era satellites referred to as Advanced Extremely High Frequency, or AEHF. The satellites have an upgraded anti-jamming functionality. The launch additionally can be the primary underneath Florida’s restrictions towards public gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The army has barred public, or media viewing aton the station, and has required all personnel to work from home if attainable, mentioned Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess, commander of the 45th Area Wing and vary director at close by Patrick Air Force Base.
Schiess mentioned the Space Force is taking all precautions, together with the rotation of launch crews and proscribing interplay between these crews, and sitting additional aside within the operations center. He mentioned that neither Patrick Air Foce Base nor the missile complicated had constructive instances of COVID-19, however, that a number of individuals have been remoted and are awaiting take a look at outcomes after displaying signs of the illness.
ULA stated the rocket had rolled to the launch pad Wednesday. Climate is expected to be 80 p.c favorable for the launch, with an opportunity of cumulus clouds being the one attainable drawback, in line with a navy forecast.