The U.S. Space Force is scheduled to launch its first space mission in a two-hour window starting at 2:57 p.m. ET on Thursday from Cape Canaveral, which launched a communications satellite aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket), is the latest in a $ 15 billion program and will be used to support the Space and Missile System Center used by the Space Force as well as to secure communications for the U.S. military and some of its allies. If everything goes as planned, the approximately £ 13,600 (approx. 6,170 kilograms),  $ 850 million AEHF satellites at  will be approximately 22,200 miles (approx. 36,000 kilometers Orbit ). above Earth in a geostationary orbit connected to five previous AEHF satellites launched since 2010.
The Space Force, which is technically still organized under the auspices of the of the Air Force was tested an intercontinental ballistic missile last month ; The space development agency is also expected to host a constellation of hundreds of surveillance satellites .
AEHF satellites have limited bandwidth, but are still designed to provide communication capabilities against signal interference or in extreme scenarios such as the nuclear war ; The six in orbit are said to provide redundancy if another nation tries to shoot them down. Manufacturer Lockheed Martin says they are a significant improvement over their predecessor, the 26-year-old Milstar system .
“The data rates of individual users are quintupled, which enables the transmission of tactical military communication. like real-time videos, battlefield maps and target data, ”said a Lockheed Martin spokesman to Popular Mechanics . "In addition to its tactical mission, the AEHF ensures critical, protected communications links for national leaders such as the President and joint chiefs of staff at all levels of conflict."
According to Spaceflight Now ULA and military officials say that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has not affected operations and that personnel will practice social distancing to minimize potential exposure. This means that between a fifth and a quarter of the staff normally available for a launch will not be physically present. ULA teams are being prepared including check-outs on launch day and filling the rocket with liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen while the launch window has an 80 percent chance of favorable weather, Spaceflight Now reported. The United States has seen minimal corona virus delays compared to Europe, which shut down at its launch center in French Guiana this month.
The Space and Missile Systems Center shared SpaceFlight Now in a report stating that in addition to AEHF-6, the missile will carry a small TDO 2 satellite based on a 12U CubeSat and "the detection of space domains through optical calibration and satellite laser removal supported ”. It has been added that TDO 2 will be released approximately 31 minutes after launch, while the AEHF-6 satellite will not be released until approximately five hours, 41 minutes after launch.
A live broadcast of the launch is available below: ]