CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the second Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-2) satellite for the United States Navy lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 here at 9 a.m. EDT today. This was ULA's 6th launch of an aggressive 12 mission schedule for the year and the 72nd ULA mission since its formation in 2006.
"United Launch Alliance is honored to serve with our mission partners in the preparation and launch of this critical mission for the U.S. Navy and for our U.S. Air Force customer," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Atlas and Delta Programs. "This joint government and industry team is keenly focused on mission success and enabling MUOS-2 to provide vital communications capability to the women and men protecting our freedom around the world."
The MUOS-2 mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5.4-meter diameter RUAG Space payload fairing along with five Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors attached to the Atlas booster. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A engine.
"At nearly 15,000 pounds, MUOS-2 is the heaviest satellite launched to date by an Atlas launch vehicle, and today's Atlas vehicle provided 2.5 million pounds of thrust during the boost phase," said Sponnick.
MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve beyond-line-of-sight communications for U.S. forces on the move. MUOS will provide military users 10 times more communications capacity over the existing system by leveraging 3G mobile communications technology, and will provide simultaneous voice and data capability.
Developed by the United States Air Force to assure access to space for Department of Defense and other government payloads, the EELV Program supports the full range of government mission requirements, while delivering on schedule and providing significant cost savings over the heritage launch systems.
ULA's next launch is the Delta IV WGS-6 mission for the U.S. Air Force scheduled Aug. 7 from Space Launch Complex-37 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.
ULA program management, engineering, test, and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., and Harlingen, Texas. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral AFS, Fla., and Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
For more information on ULA, visit the ULA website at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321). Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch and twitter.com/ulalaunch.
SOURCE United Launch Alliance