US launches advanced military communications satellite

May 4, 2012 23:56


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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday to deliver the second member of an advanced US military communications satellite network into orbit.

The 197-foot (60-metre) tall rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, blasted off its seaside launch pad at 2:42 p.m. EDT, piercing partly cloudy skies as it headed into orbit.

Sealed inside the rocket's protective nosecone was the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications satellite.

The satellite, built by Lockheed Martin Corp, is part of a planned four-member constellation designed to provide global, high-speed, secure and jam-resistant communications for the US military and international partners from the United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands.

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