More threads by Retired


Friday, February 23, 2012
5:15 PM. EST

These are my pictures, taken from my back porch, of the Atlas rocket from Cape Canaveral launch this afternoon:

Skydrive Folder: Atlas Launch 2012 02 24

Nasa Video (Florida Today)

NASA Video These videos are identical, but from different providers, in case one is currently unavailable.

Additional photos

New YouTube Video

You don't want to miss this video from You Tube that just came to us:

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying the Mobile User Objective System-1 (MUOS-1) for the United States Navy lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 here at 5:15 p.m. EST today. This was ULA's 2nd launch of an aggressive 11 mission schedule for the year and at nearly 15,000 pounds, MUOS-1 marks the heaviest satellite launched to date by an Atlas launch vehicle.
Source PR Newswire

Cape Canaveral, Florida: An unmanned Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday carrying the first satellite in a new military network designed to give cellphone-like 3G communications to troops on the move.

The 20-foot(6-metre)tall Atlas 5 rocket, the most powerful launcher in the U.S. inventory, lifted off at 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT), darting through sunny skies as it soared over the Atlantic Ocean to deliver the Navy's first Mobile User Objective System satellite into orbit.

The spacecraft, called MUOS-1, is part of a planned five-satellite network that will operate like cellphone towers in space to significantly boost communications capacity for the U.S. military and partner countries, including, for the first time, UHF satellite communications for mobile users.

"Right now, our units have to be sitting in one place, stationary, with antenna up pointing straight at a satellite to be able to use narrow-band satcom (satellite communications)," program manager Paul Ghyzel told reporters before the launch.

"As we bring MUOS online, we bring up the capability that allows them to move around the battle space and be able to continue communicating beyond line-of-sight (of the satellite)," he said.

The system is "basically like a cellphone tower in the sky," added Mark Pasquale, MUOS program manager and vice president with satellite builder Lockheed Martin.

"You can think of the handheld user terminals as robust, rugged smartphones," he said.

MUOS voice, video and data services will be available to users whether they are in vehicles, ships, submarines, aircraft or simply on foot, though that cell phone-like capability probably won't come until next summer.

General Dynamics C4 Systems, the prime contractor for the handheld user terminals, is still working on the technology needed to communicate with MUOS' 3G-like system. Until then, users can tap the satellite's heritage narrow-band communications system, which is similar to what is currently aboard the Navy's aging UFH Follow-on satellites.

Overall, MUOS is designed to provide military users 10 times more communications capability over existing systems, including simultaneous voice, video and data.

Weighing nearly 15,000 pounds (6,804 kg), MUOS-1 is the heaviest satellite launched to date by an Atlas rocket, which is built and flown by United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

The MUOS network, including launch vehicles, will cost the U.S. military more than $5.3 billion.
Source: ZEE News
Bureau Report

If you have any of your own or other official NASA photos or videos, please share them in a reply to this thread.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
We were having a blizzard yesterday so all that green and blue was a welcome sight! :)
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