An essential US Space Force launch took place yesterday, despite growing concerns related to the spread of coronavirus. According to a high-ranking commander, there was an 80-minute delay related to launching schedules set for yesterday, due to a glitch. Overall, national security launches are classified as a top priority and have to take place due to strategic reasons, no matter what.
On Thursday morning, a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral. The rocket transported the last of the six Advanced Extremely High-Frequency satellites that are used for communication purposes. It was mentioned that the Space and Missile System Center would employ the array to send vital communications to American, Canadian, British, and Dutch land troops across the world.
Lockheed Martin received the contract for the manufacturing of the satellites, which are used in the AEHF program, which has a cost of approximately $15 billion. ULA rockets have been used to launch the satellites since 2010.
The US Space Force Launched A Mission, Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak
The new satellite network will replace the aging MILSTAR satellites which were deployed during the early years of the 2000s. Due to advancements in military technology, and AEHF satellite is more powerful and has a higher performance than the entire MILSTAR constellation.
The launch also marked the first mission conducted by the US Space Force, a new branch of the US military forces, which will focus on space activities. Several precautions were implemented to avoid potential problems due to coronavirus.
One coronavirus case has been announced at the Kennedy Space Center, with the diagnosed employee being sent at home ten days ago. The other Kenney Space Center employees are working from home as the center remains on a Stage 3 alert, and only essential personal are allowed to go on site. Interaction between employees is also limited at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as teams will work on shifts to minimize contact.