Author Topic: As Atlas V rocket preps for launch, Space Force says it's ready for coronavirus  (Read 86 times)

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Online Elderberry

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Florida Today by Emre Kelly 3/25/2020

The upcoming launch of a military communications satellite from Cape Canaveral is still on as Space Force teams contend with challenges presented by the coronavirus.

"We've prepared to continue mission-essential operations up at the Cape for launch operations," 45th Space Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess said Tuesday, noting that United Launch Alliance's Atlas V is still scheduled for a 2:57 p.m. Thursday liftoff from Launch Complex 41.

Weather for the two-hour launch window is expected at 80% "go."

Schiess said Space Force-connected civilians and military personnel have been encouraged to telework as much as possible to avoid exposure to the virus, which has not yet led to any confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Patrick Air Force Base or Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. He said he was confident in the number of testing kits available and confirmed that several people have already been tested based on their symptoms, but all have come back negative.

"We haven't cut back any mission," he said. "We've done teleworking to the maximum capability. So with our civilians who have the ability to do teleworking, we've encouraged them to do that. Same with our military."

More: https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/local/2020/03/25/atlas-v-rocket-preps-launch-space-force-ready-coronavirus-florida/2896611001/

Online Elderberry

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Space Force set for first launch Thursday as national security missions take top priority during coronavirus

Orlando Sentinel by Chabeli Carrazana 3/25/2020

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/space/os-bz-aehf-6-launch-advance-20200325-c6oxmdeulzfi7fj6ujnfy2aseu-story.html

Quote

The U.S. Space Force is moving ahead with a crucial national security launch Thursday that remains on track, even as installations around the country move to telework due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Brig. Gen. Douglas Schiess, the commander of the 45th Space Wing and the Eastern Range at Patrick Air Force Base on the Space Coast, said during a press call Tuesday that the Eastern Range doesn’t yet expect any schedule disruptions due to coronavirus, and national security launches, in particular, will continue to have the top priority moving forward.

Thursday’s launch falls into that bucket: A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is scheduled to launch the sixth and final Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) communications satellite for the Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, a critical spacecraft that provides communications for American, British, Canadian and Dutch troops on the ground, air and sea around the world.

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