MUOS-3 (Atlas V)
20 January 2015
Space Launch Complex 41
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket lifts the U.S. Navy's third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite into geostationary orbit at 8:04 p.m. on 20 January 2015 from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. From the ULA press booklet about the mission:

MUOS-3 is the third of a five-satellite constellation to be launched and operated by PMW 146, the Navy’s Communications Satellite Program Office. MUOS is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system designed to significantly improve ground communications to U.S. forces on the move around the globe.

The MUOS-3 satellite will be the heaviest payload to ride into space atop any of ULA’s Atlas V launch vehicles. The Atlas V will generate more than two and half million pounds of thrust at liftoff in order to meet the demands of lifting the nearly 7.5-ton satellite.

The launch images were shot from the Banana Creek Viewing Site at Kennedy Space Center, which has a commanding view of the Vehicle Assembly Building and the Space Launch System mobile launch tower as well as Space Launch Complex-41 at the adjacent Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.
The Atlas V was equipped with five solid rocket boosters to lift the heavy MUOS satellite so the rocket put on quite a show when it took off.
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