The United Launch Alliance (ULA) launched a satellite for the US Navy early Wednesday morning and the scene was rather picturesque.

Michael Seeley via Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Seeley via Flickr Creative Commons

Michael Deep/ SpaceFlight Insider

In this launch, an Atlas V took another Mobile User Objective System satellite to orbit. This was the fourth in the MUOS satellite constellation the Navy will use for its state-of-the-art narrowband tactical communications. The collection of satellites and stations on the ground will support MUOS communications, providing a new system of military correspondence. Military members will use “smartphone-like” devices from all around the world.

This launch, with its pretty trail, was powered by an RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. Any new contracts for RD-180 engines, which are Russian made, have been prohibited by congressional legislation in response to Russian territorial aggressions but the ULA has relies on them for their Atlas launches.

RD AMROSS is a LLC joint venture between the rocket companies of the American Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne and Russia’s NPO Energomesh.

Source: United Launch Alliance via  The Verge

Share This Article