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United Launch Alliance completes FCC 5G satellite mission

A Decatur-built United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket launched two satellites Tuesday as part of the Federal Communications Commission’s 5G FAST mission.

The SES-20 and SES-21 satellites, operated by worldwide telecommunications network provider SES of Luxembourg, will serve to enhance mobile phone services.

Liftoff was 4:36 p.m. CST from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. It was ULA’s 154th launch; the rocket manufacturer holds a 100% mission success rate.

Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs, thanked the company’s partner in making for a successful launch.

“We’re excited to support our commercial partner SES in their C-band transition efforts to meet the FCC’s objective to deploy 5G service across the U.S.,” said Wentz in a release. “Their mission aligns with our mission to connect the world and these capabilities will enable uninterrupted commercial services to many Americans. The Atlas V delivered the satellites accurately to a near-geosynchronous orbit 22,300 miles (35,888 km) above the equator.

“Thank you to the ULA team and our partners for ensuring the successful delivery of this multi-payload mission to orbit.”

The Boeing-built C-band satellites will enable SES to continue providing data and TV transmission services to nearly 120 million American homes, according to ULA. This was the 96th launch of the Atlas V rocket, the 80th Atlas V launch from SLC-41 and the 107th launch from SLC-41.

ULA’s next launch is the Joint Polar Satellite System’s polar-orbiting weather mission for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and NASA’s Low-Earth Orbit Flight Test of an Inflatable Decelerator.

The launch is planned for Nov. 1 from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Space Force Base, Calif.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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