CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA. – The newly established US Space Force. USA It launched its first national security satellite on Thursday with thinner personnel due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"Nothing stops the space launch mission!" the 45th Space Wing tweeted from Cape Canaveral.
The approximately $ 1 billion satellite is the sixth and last in the Advanced Extremely High Frequency series of the US military. USA Upgraded from the oldest Milstar satellites, the constellation has provided secure communication from 22,000 miles (35,400 km) for almost a decade.
A powerful Atlas V rocket lifted the 13,600-pound (6,168-kilogram) satellite. The new Space Force seal adorned the United Launch Alliance rocket.
The Space Force officially became a new branch of the US military in December.
With the observation area closed due to the coronavirus outbreak, fewer people than usual observed takeoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
United Launch Alliance chief executive Tory Bruno said nonessential personnel were kicked out of the launch control room to reduce the size of the crowd.
"I can't get 6 feet everywhere. Surfaces will be cleaned between people, etc. Bruno tweeted, who oversaw the launch from the company's Denver headquarters. He typically travels to the launch site.
Another pandemic effect: The planned name change from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is on hold.
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