AEHF-6 launched on Atlas 5

Atlas 5 launch from Cape Canaveral at 2018 UT on 26 March 2020, with the AEHF-6 satellite. (ULA)

At 2018 UT on 26 March 2020, Atlas 5 departed Cape Canaveral, carrying AEHF-6, the final addition to the AEHF satcom project, augmenting previous military communications satellites supporting the United States and allies.

The launch was halted at T minus 46 seconds prior to a planned 1857 UT launch. After resolving a ground hydraulic issue, the launch time was reset to 2018 UT.

AEHF-6 is similar to the other five AEHF satellites, based on the A2100M satellite bus built by Lockheed Martin. The satellite will operate in the Clarke Belt for about 14 years.

The launch also included an Air Force Research Laboratory sponsored 12U cubesat. TDO 2 was built by Georgia Tech and will flight test optical technologies; it was released from Centaur into a 26.7 deg x 198 km x 35460 km low-perigee GTO.

After a coast phase and final burn, ULA confirmed separation of the primary payload shortly before 0159 UT 27 Mar 2020.

Author: Fargo Orbit

The Fargo Orbit delivers science and aerospace news from a vantage point in the centre of North America.

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