The US has today launched a military communications satellite that even in the worst possible situation, a nuclear conflict, it will serve for communication, the authoritative newspaper Florida Today reported.
From Cape Canaveral in Florida, a powerful Atlas-V launcher from Lockheed Martin left at 17.45 GMT. Approximately 3.5 hours later, a $1.8 billion military communications satellite was released.
Built by Lockheed Martin, this is the AEHF-4 artificial moon. It must continue to provide communication between the president, the supreme army leadership and the armed forces even during a nuclear war. The 6.2-tonne satellite uses frequencies that do not suffer from radioactive radiation. Also deliberate interference or cyber-attacks do not save the satellite from its lead.
It is the fourth satellite from this program. Data go down ten times faster than with the Milstar constellation dating from the nineties. Downside: many ground stations cannot handle that lightning fast data transmission yet, according to Florida Today.
It was the eighth launch of the company ULA – a joint venture between Boeing and Lockheed Martin – this year, and the last one from Cape Canaveral for 2018.