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Alabama’s ULA powers latest Air Force satellite into space

Alabama rocket builder United Launch Alliance (ULA) successfully launched the fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF5) satellite into orbit. The latest in U.S. Air Force satellite technology, AEHF5 provides high-tech global communications for American warfighters.

The launch was powered by ULA’s Atlas V rocket assembled at its Decatur manufacturing plant. ULA’s 1.6 million square foot Decatur plant is the largest such facility in the western hemisphere.

The rocket powering AEHF5 into orbit left Decatur on the Mariner cargo ship on April 13 for its journey to Cape Canaveral, Florida, site of this morning’s launch.

ULA rockets have now carried all five of the AEHF satellites into space. According to ULA, “AEHF gives the warfighters what they need — enhanced communications traffic, increased bandwidth throughput and faster data transmissions.”

Developed by Lockheed-Martin, AEHF5 will allow the Air Force to improve “global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters.”

The Atlas V, which lifted off Thursday morning, is the most powerful of the Atlas V fleet, producing more than 2.5 million pounds of thrust.

Aerojet Rocketdyne manufactured five solid rocket boosters for this Atlas V.

The Air Force plans to launch a sixth AEHF satellite next year.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer News

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