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United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket delivers on U.S. Space Force flight safety mission

United Launch Alliance (ULA) on Friday successfully launched an Atlas V rocket carrying the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command USSF-8 mission.

The launch from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida marked ULA’s 148th launch. The rocket manufacturer continues to hold an unblemished mission success rate.

ULA launched two Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program (GSSAP) satellites. The satellites will serve to support the U.S. Space Command’s space surveillance operations as a dedicated Space Surveillance Network (SSN) sensor.

The satellites will provide critical information to space-traveling nations by issuing hazard warnings while spacecrafts are in flight and move dangerously close to another orbiting object.

Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs, spoke to the company’s record of supporting the nation’s space-based national security objectives.

“ULA continues to launch national security assets into highly complex orbits. The USSF-8 mission was successfully delivered to near-geosynchronous orbit after a nearly 7-hour mission,” said Wentz. “We want to thank the U.S. Space Force and our mission partners for their teamwork for the successful launch and delivery to orbit.”

According to a release, the mission launched on an Atlas V 511 configuration rocket that included a five-meter short payload fairing. ULA industry partners Aerojet Rocketdyne and Northrop Grumman provided vital components for the launch.

Friday’s launch was ULA’s 91st launch of the Atlas V rocket. The company’s next launch will carry NASA’s GOES-T mission, planned for March 1, 2022, at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for 256 Today. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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