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Raumfahrt - Startvorbereitung von Atlas V 551 mit NAVY´s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4)

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24.07.2015

Rocket/Payload: An Atlas V 551 will launch the Navy’s fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite.

Date/Site/Launch Time: Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.
Mission Description: The Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground communications for U.S. forces on the move.
MUOS will provide military users 10 times more communications capability over existing systems, including simultaneous voice, video and data, leveraging 3G mobile communications technology.
Launch Notes: MUOS-4 will mark the 56th Atlas V since the vehicle’s inaugural launch in August 2002 and the sixth in the 551 configuration. Previous missions launched on Atlas V 551 missions include three MUOS missions as well as the New Horizons mission to Pluto and the Juno mission to Jupiter.
Quelle: ULA
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Update: 1.08.2015
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Atlas 5 team begins stacking most powerful variant for Navy launch

CAPE CANAVERAL — Continuing a run of military satellite deployments this summer, United Launch Alliance has begun stacking the Atlas 5 rocket that will boost the Navy’s next mobile communications craft.
The 15,000-pound Mobile User Objective System satellite No. 4 is scheduled for launch atop the most-powerful version of the Atlas-Centaur rocket on Aug. 31 from Cape Canaveral.
Liftoff will occur some time during an unclassified, four-hour period of 4:07 to 8:07 a.m. EDT. The actual target launch time within that period will be announced closer to the liftoff date.
The mission follows successful launches of the Global Positioning System 2F-10 navigation satellite on July 15 by another Atlas 5 and the Air Force’s Wideband Global SATCOM satellite No. 7 by a Delta 4 rocket on July 23.
This will be the second Atlas launch for the Navy this year, following MUOS No. 3 on Jan. 20 to cover the Atlantic Ocean region. MUOS 1 was launched Feb. 24, 2012 aboard an Atlas 5 and serves as the Pacific Ocean satellite. MUOS 2 launched July 19, 2013 aboard another Atlas 5 and serves as the continental U.S. satellite.
MUOS 4 will enter service over the Indian Ocean, creating a worldwide reach for the constellation.
The Navy is fielding a constellation of four primary satellites and one in-space spare to cover the entire planet for its new rugged smart-phone communications network.
The final MUOS launch is scheduled for July 2016 on Atlas.
“MUOS allows troops all over the world to talk, text and share mission data seamlessly, while traveling, like a cellular network, without having to worry about where they are in relation to a satellite,” said Iris Bombelyn, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for narrowband communications.
“MUOS 4 will complete our near global coverage, reaching further north and south toward the poles than ever before.”
This year has seen four Atlas 5 rockets fly so far, launching the MUOS 3 communications satellite in January, NASA’s MMS magnetospheric science experiment in March, the Air Force’s X-37B spaceplane in May and sustaining the GPS constellation with launch of a replacement satellite in July.
The rocket has five more missions on the manifest for 2015, including launches of MUOS 4, a classified NRO payload from Vandenberg, Mexico’s Morelos 3 communications satellite, the GPS 2F-11 navigation spacecraft and Orbital ATK’s Cygnus cargo-delivery craft for the International Space Station.
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The stacking work for AV-056 began this morning as the bronze-colored, 106.6-foot-long, 12.5-foot-diameter first stage was pulled to the VIF doorway, erected upright and hoisted inside the building to be put aboard the mobile launcher platform.
Known as the Common Core Booster, the stage produces 860,000 pounds of thrust to lift the rocket off the ground. It burns kerosene fuel and supercold liquid oxygen during the initial minutes of flight.
In the coming days, five strap-on boosters will be added, along with the barrel-like interstage adapter, the Centaur upper stage and the base sections of the nose cone. Centaur is 41.5 feet in length, 10 feet in diameter and is fueled by liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen.
The payload is undergoing its own processing in nearby Titusville at the Astrotech facility. It will be delivered to the VIF and mated to the Atlas-Centaur in mid-August.
The 206-foot-tall rocket will be flying in the top-of-the-line, 551-variant that features an RD-180 main engine powering the first stage, five strap-on solid-fuel boosters and an RL10 on the Centaur upper stage. The satellite will be enclosed in an 18-foot-diameter composite nose cone for atmospheric ascent.
The MUOS 4 is destined for geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles high.
The launch will be the 56th Atlas 5 rocket since 2002 and the 22nd overseen by the Air Force since 2007. For United Launch Alliance, it is the company’s 99th launch overall since 2006 and the eighth this year.
Quelle: SN
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Update: 15.08.2015
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Buttoned Up: Lockheed Martin-Built MUOS-4 Secure Communications Satellite Encapsulated for August 31 Launch
PHOTO: MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance).
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CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., August 13, 2015 – The fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite built by Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] for the U.S. Navy was encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing August 10. It is scheduled to launch August 31 aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.
MUOS-4 is the latest addition to a network of orbiting satellites and relay ground stations that is revolutionizing secure communications for mobile military forces. Users with operational MUOS terminals can seamlessly connect beyond line-of-sight around the globe and into the Global Information Grid. MUOS’ new smart phone-like capabilities include simultaneous, crystal-clear voice, video and mission data, over a high-speed Internet Protocol-based system.
“Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. “For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal.”
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PHOTO: MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) secure communications network, has been encapsulated in its protective launch vehicle fairing for its August 31 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (photos courtesy of United Launch Alliance).
MUOS, which also supports the legacy ultra high frequency communications satellite system, will provide comparatively 16 times the capacity of the legacy system and eventually replace it.
The MUOS-1, MUOS-2 and MUOS-3 satellites launched respectively in 2012, 2013 and January 2015. All four required MUOS ground stations are complete. MUOS-5, an on-orbit Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) spare with additional legacy system capability, is expected to launch in 2016.
More than 55,000 currently fielded radio terminals can be upgraded to be MUOS-compatible, with many of them requiring just a software upgrade.
Lockheed Martin manufactured MUOS-4 at the prime contractor’s Sunnyvale, California facility. Earlier this summer, the satellite shipped to the Cape, where it was pre-launch processed and finally encapsulated at Astrotech Space Operations, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin.
The Navy's Program Executive Office for Space Systems and its Communications Satellite Program Office, San Diego, California, are responsible for the MUOS program.
Quelle: Lockheed Martin
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Update: 26.08.2015
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Navy’s MUOS-4 Hoisted Atop ULA’s Most Powerful Atlas Rocket for Launch Next Week

The fourth in a Lockheed Martin-built, five-ship fleet for a next-generation, narrowband tactical military satellite communications system is now stacked atop its 206-foot-tall United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas-V rocket for an early morning twilight liftoff attempt from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. next Monday.
The U.S. Navy’s flight-ready 15,000 pound Mobile User Objective System-4 (MUOS-4) satellite, encapsulated in its 5.4-meter (17.7-foot) bullet-like payload fairing, was transported from Astrotech Space Operations (where it had undergone final testing and preparations for flight) to the Atlas Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) on the morning of Aug. 19.
The enormous military satellite was then hoisted vertical and integrated to its Atlas booster, which will fly in its most powerful “heavyweight” variant (551 configuration) to deliver the enormous 7.5 ton MUOS-4 to a 22,000-mile-high geosynchronous orbit.
The added power of five strap-on solid rocket boosters (supplied by Aerojet Rocketdyne) will compliment the Atlas-V to get MUOS-4 into space, something that the rocket has only done previously on five of its 55 flights over the last 13 years since its inaugural launch.
Three of those flights were the first three MUOS satellites. The other two were both for NASA spacecraft to worlds in the outer Solar System: New Horizons to Pluto in 2006 and JUNO to Jupiter in 2011.
MUOS operates like a “smart phone cell tower in the sky,” giving military users more communications capability over existing systems, including simultaneous voice, video, and data—similar to today’s capabilities with smart phones and providing users with 10 times more communications capacity.
“Delivery of this fourth satellite for the U.S. Navy completes the initial MUOS constellation and provides near-global coverage for the network,” said Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Narrowband Communications at Lockheed Martin. “For our mobile forces, that means for the first time they will be able to have secure, high-fidelity voice conversations, networked team calls and data exchange, including video, with anyone around the world connected with a MUOS terminal.”
The MUOS satellites represent the heaviest payloads ever to be launched by ULA’s Atlas-V.
Final integrated testing and closeout preparations for launch are underway. The rocket, topped off with MUOS-4, will be rolled out from the VIF to nearby launch pad-41 on Friday, Aug. 28.
Launch is scheduled for Aug. 31 during a window from 6:07 a.m. to 6:51 a.m. EDT; sunrise will occur at 7:00 a.m.
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Quelle: AS
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Update: 28.08.2015
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TS Erika could challenge Atlas V launch Monday
The approaching Tropical Storm Erika could make it difficult for United Launch Alliance to boost a Navy communications satellite from Cape Canaveral as planned early next week.
An official forecast released Thursday morning shows a 30 percent chance of conditions good enough for an Atlas V rocket to blast off at 6:07 a.m. Monday with the Navy's fourth Mobile User Objective System satellite, at the opening of a 44-minute launch window.
"On launch day during the count, brisk east-northeast winds gusting in the mid to upper 20s are expected as TS Erika nears South Florida with showers and isolated thunderstorms coming in off the Atlantic," reads the forecast from the Air Force's 45th Weather Squadron.
The weather odds drop to 10 percent "go" on Tuesday when the storm, which is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane, moves closer to Central Florida.
Tropical Storm Erika retains strength; track still off Florida coast
"Winds strengthen through the day Monday and persist through the count with gusts in the low to mid 50s," the forecast continues. "Cloudy conditions, showers, and isolated thunderstorms persist through the count."
However, the forecast notes that the outlook is "highly dependent on the eventual track and intensity of Tropical Storm Erika as it approaches the Florida peninsula late in the weekend."
Weather permitting, ULA on Saturday plans to roll the Atlas V rocket and its payload out of their processing tower to the pad at Launch Complex 41.
Decisions about the launch's timing could be made during ULA and Air Force readiness reviews scheduled Friday.
Quelle: Florida Today
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Update: 29.08.2015
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Tropical Storm Erika delays Atlas V rocket launch

ORLANDO -- 
With Tropical Storm Erika remaining uncertain, officials across Central Florida are preparing for the storm and urging others to do the same, even if all we get is a little rain.
All of the nine Central Florida counties are monitoring the storm and many have sand bag locations available.
The launch is now scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 2 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The rocket is carrying a U.S. Navy satellite.
In Orange County, Mayor Teresa Jacobs is urging people to prepare, and says the county is making its resources available.
"When you have a storm like this moving our way we do know from past experiences there is absolutely no guaranteed of what happens," said Jacobs. "What we can guarantee is if you take the time to be prepared your family will be better served.”
Orange County Animal Services also doesn't want residents to forget their pets.
The animal shelter says you should have at least two weeks of food and medications for your pet. Plus, up to date health records and toys.
Storms can be very stressful for pets, even leading to behavioral changes.
"So it’s just something for owners to be aware of," said animal shelter spokesperson Diane Summers. "Use special caution with their pets. Make sure they always have a leash on because they may run when they are scared."
Pet experts say unfortunately during storm evacuations, many families leave their pets behind, causing shelters to fill up quickly.
Many people are stocking up on water, gas and food for Erika. Others are also making sure they have all the necessary components for a proper storm party. 
We spoke with customers as they were leaving Total Wine and More in Orlando Friday evening. One Full Sail University student said he is preparing to wait out the storm with his friends. 
At the top of his party list: Ice for cocktails, beer and board games.
“You've got to think about food, which is what I always forget because then you get people getting a little too rowdy," said Sterling Sims. "But yeah some beer, some chips, maybe we cook out a little bit."
Sims also said a battery-powered radio is a good idea to bring to a party. You can listen to the AM radio for continuous weather and evacuation updates. 
Quelle: NESWS13
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Update: 30.08.2015
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Atlas V targeting Wednesday launch

United Launch Alliance plans to roll an Atlas V rocket to its Cape Canaveral launch pad Monday morning in preparation for an early Wednesday liftoff with a military communications satellite.
Concern about Tropical Storm Erika delayed the mission's first launch attempt two days, from Monday to Wednesday, and the weather outlook has improved.
There's a 60 percent chance of favorable conditions during the 44-minute launch window that opens at 5:59 a.m. Wednesday, with clouds a potential concern.
The odds are the same on Thursday, should the launch slip another day.
On top of the 206-foot rocket is the U.S. Navy's fourth Mobile User Objective System satellite.
The satellite will complete the system's initial constellation, which is intended to provide smart phone-like capabilities to mobile forces from every military service, including special operations forces.
The system is designed to enable mobile troops to communicate by voice, text or video even if they are thousands of miles apart and working in mountains, jungle or dense urban areas.
Quelle: Florida Today
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Update: 31.08.2015
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AtlasV is on the launch pad! #MUOS-4 launch planned for Sept.2 at 5:59amEDT.-
Quelle: ULA
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Update: 2.09.2015
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Quelle: ULA
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Update: 11.40 MESZ
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Update: 12.25 MESZ
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