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Aug 26 2015

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MUOS-4 ready for launch

Navy’s MUOS-4 Hoisted Atop ULA’s Most Powerful Atlas Rocket for Launch Next Week.

Yeah…I may have to live-blog this. The launch window opens up at 3:07am Pacific, which means I’d have to get up around 2 O’clock. Let’s just for now that I’d like to live-blog the MUOS-launch, but I’m not going to guarantee it.

And I didn’t know this:

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.

I knew it was a heavy satellite, but I didn’t know that the Atlas heavyweight configuration is primarily used for just MUOS.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/08/26/muos-4-ready-for-launch/

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