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US Space Force Officially Goes to Space for the First Time

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The U.S. Space Force officially launched its first rocket on Thursday, delivering a highly advanced communications satellite to orbit.

The United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and carried the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6) satellite, Space.com reported.

The final Lockheed Martin-built satellite in the AEHF constellation will help with communications between the U.S. leadership and deployed military forces.

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The launch was originally scheduled for March 13, but it was pushed back after an off-nominal valve reading occurred before the launch.

The hardware in question was removed and the launch rescheduled, according to Space.com.

Space Force Commander Gen. Jay Raymond congratulated the team on a successful launch in a Thursday tweet.

“Congrats @ulalaunch on today’s successful launch of #AEHF6 — our 1st USSF Nat’l Security Space Launch!” he tweeted.

“On behalf of the @SpaceForceDoD & joint warfighters who depend on protected SATCOM…THANK YOU!”

All military commanders have been directed by the Pentagon to continue crucial missions during the COVID-19 pandemic while ensuring the health and safety of their teams, 45th Space Wing Commander Brig. Gen. Doug Schiess told reporters on Tuesday.

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“The Department of Defense’s priority is to continue the mission, so we’ll continue the mission,” Schiess said.

“I can’t see it happening where they would say, ‘Stop doing that.’ We may do more testing, more temperature testing, or something like that, but I think we have to have a significant population within the operations folks to be sick to have a situation where it would impact our launches.”

The launch teams have taken extra precautions by reducing staff to essential personnel and spreading work stations farther apart.

Public viewing areas near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station were also closed due to the pandemic.

The Space Force was created in December 2019 when President Donald Trump signed the annual defense policy bill, The Hill reported.

Instead of deploying soldiers in space, the new military branch operating under the Department of the Air Force will focus on national security and protecting U.S. assets in space.

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Birthplace
Tucson, Arizona
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Graduated with Honors
Education
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Location
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith




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