The United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket successfully launched a pair of payloads for the U.S. Air Force on Saturday night.
Blast-off was at 7:13 p.m. ET from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The Air Force Space Command mission, AFSPC-11, features two spacecraft. The primary payload is the Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, or CBAS, a geostationary communications satellite.
The satellite will lend communications support to the Air Force, relaying messages between leaders back at base and commanders in combat.
“The mission of CBAS is to augment existing military satellite communications capabilities and broadcast military data continuously through space-based, satellite communications relay links,” the U.S. Air Force said.
Behind the CBAS payload is EAGLE, the ESPA Augmented GEO Laboratory Experiment. EAGLE is a platform capable of releasing several secondary payloads into space.
According to Gunter’s Space Page, EAGLE is carrying five additional payloads, all experimental satellites. They secondary payloads include: the Hypertemporal Imaging Space Experiment, HTI-SpX; MYCROFT; the Compact Environmental Anomaly Sensor III Risk Reduction, CEASE-III-RR; the Inverse Synthetic Aperture Ladar, ISAL; and the AFRL-1201 Resilient Spacecraft Bus Development Experiment, ARMOR.
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SOURCE: UPI, Brooks Hays