The operation did not begin flawlessly after some minor issues were reported during the launch.
The Space Force can't afford to shelter in place.
The payload today was the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) satellite that has been deployed for us defense customers, though the original five that are already in orbit (which launched over the course of the past decade) were obviously sent up before Space Force was officially formed. "The satellite is operating as expected and is ready to undergo orbit raising and on-orbit testing for the next several months after which it will provide mission critical capabilities to our warfighters", said Col. John Dukes, senior materiel leader, SMC Production Corps' Geosynchronous Orbit Division. Gen. Doug Schiess, commander of the 45th Space Wing and range director at nearby Patrick Air Force Base.
A hydraulic fault delayed the countdown for 80 minutes, according to the BBC.
Since its establishment past year, the sixth division of the U.S. Armed Forces has been mercilessly mocked-first for its camouflage uniforms, then for its near-exact replica of Star Trek's Starfleet Command logo. Currently, the rocket's Centaur upper stage is pushing the AEHF-6 satellite toward a geostationary transfer orbit.
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The satellite successfully separated from the launch vehicle almost six hours after liftoff and will now undergo approximately120 days of orbit-raising operations, followed by approximately 30 days of on-orbit testing. If you're working a mission, make sure that you're keeping yourself at home and being prepared for mission operations.
U.S. Space Force: "Even in the face of a pandemic, we need to continue essential tasks."This is what they answered to all people that criticize the agency for still pushing forward on sending satellites in space.
ULA said the rocket had rolled to the launch pad Wednesday.
"There are critical things, or mission essential things, that the US Department of Defence does every day".
The launch is an important milestone for Space Force - the sixth branch of the military formed as a Trump administration directive.