Launch window and location:
AEHF-5 has been DELAYED to NET Tuesday, July 9. No window has been confirmed yet. AEHF-5 will be launching from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, SLC-41 atop an Atlas V rocket in its powerful 551 configuration.
There will be NO booster landing. ULA vehicles are expendable.
Where to watch:
Our launch viewing guide should be complete sometime this month (hopefully before launch). But in the meantime, check out these great launch viewing guides:
Our recommendations for this launch:
LC-39 Observation Gantry is the closest you can possibly get to the launch at only 2.3 miles from the SLC-41. Tickets are $49 and can be purchased from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex website.
Playalinda Beach is only 4.8 miles from SLC-41 and is an incredibly popular viewing location, so get there early!
Max Brewer Bridge is another decent choice for launch viewing. Located about 13 miles from the pad, you can get some decent views of the launch by going up to the top of the bridge.
Space View Park is about 14 miles from SLC-41 and is a popular viewing location for it’s clear line of sight to the pad and volunteers broadcasting the live launch countdown.
Banana Creek Viewing (Apollo/Saturn V Center) is around 5.4 miles from the pad. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex website.
Exploration Tower offers viewing from its 7th-floor observation deck for $15 ($20 on day of launch). Located 12.4 miles from SLC-41, this elevated location provides a clear line of sight to the pad.
FL-401 is PERMANENTLY CLOSED for launch viewing, though traffic is still permitted.
Launch360 crew location:
We’ll be filming this one from the LC-39 Observation Gantry.
watch live online:
The ULA livestream typically begins around 45 minutes prior to launch. NASA TV won’t be broadcasting this launch.
Official ULA Livestream (link coming soon)
launch hazard and NOTAM:
The 45th Space Wing will issue the launch hazard area as we get closer to launch.
About ATLAS V:
“Atlas V uses a standard common core booster, up to five solid rocket boosters (SRBs), a Centaur upper stage in a single- or dual-engine configuration, and one of several sizes of payload fairings.
Centaur is the world's highest-performing upper stage. The pressure-stabilized tanks combined with the lightweight Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine provides industry best thrust-to-weight ratio. The stage has demonstrated long-coast relight capability that enables it to service any orbital need.
Atlas V payload fairings are configurable to fit a variety of spacecraft heights, both 4-m and 5-m diameter variants are available in three lengths. The 4-m PLF is a metallic design, configured by adding additional cylindrical plugs to achieve the desired length. The 5-m PLF is a carbon composite bi-sector design manufactured by ULA partner RUAG Space.
Delivering more than 860,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff and an impressive range of continuous throttling capability, the RD-180 main engine is a powerful combination of innovation and performance. Designed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, the liquid oxygen/liquid kerosene, two-thrust-chamber RD-180 engine is a complete propulsion unit equipped with hydraulics for control valve actuation and thrust vector gimbaling, pneumatics for valve actuation and system purging, and a thrust frame to distribute loads.
When missions demand additional thrust at liftoff, Atlas integrates up to three Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket boosters (SRBs) on the Atlas V 400 series launch vehicle and up to five SRBs on the Atlas V 500 series vehicles.
Both the Atlas V and the Delta IV rely on the RL10 propulsion system to power their second stages. Logging an impressive record of nearly 400 successful flights and nearly 700 firings in space, RL10 engines, manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne, harness the power of high-energy liquid hydrogen. The RL10 boasts a precision control system and restart capability to accurately place payloads into orbit. The Atlas V Centaur upper stage is powered by the RL10C and can be configured with either one or two engines.”
“United Launch Alliance will use an Atlas V 551 rocket to launch the fifth communications satellite in the Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center. AEHF satellites provide highly-secure, jam-proof connectivity between U.S. national leadership and deployed military forces. Atlas V rockets successfully launched the first four AEHF satellites in 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2018.”
The Launch360 crew will be unable to answer any questions on launch day due to low connectivity at the viewing site.
We’ve been working hard to complete our launch viewing guide and should hopefully have it up within the next couple weeks.
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