US Space Force launches its first national security mission today

ULA’s Atlas V will carry a Space Force satellite off this rock. 


A massive United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket is taking the US Space Force into space on Thursday. The rocket is decked out in the official Space Force logo, and it will be escorting an Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite into orbit.

The Atlas will take off from a launchpad at Cape Canaveral in Florida. ULA’s live launch webcast kicks off at 11:37 a.m. PT. 

Gen. Jay Raymond, chief of space operations, tweeted a look at the Space Force seal, which sits between an American flag and the ULA Atlas logo. “Despite COVID-19, we’re ready to launch,” he tweeted, describing this mission as the first national security space launch for the Space Force.

The satellite is the last in a series of six AEHF launches. “AEHF satellites provide global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms,” ULA said.   

Space Force is the newest branch of the US military. President Donald Trump formally established the United States Space Command last August. 

While the Space Force seal received plenty of criticism when it was unveiled in January, it should be quite a sight to see the Star Trek-like logo take off in a fiery blaze. As ULA CEO Tory Bruno reminds us, the Atlas rocket is a 20-story building that blasts into space.

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