by 45th Space Wing
1/20/2015 - CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. -- The
U.S. Air Force's 45th Space Wing successfully launched the third Mobile
User Objective System (MUOS) satellite, built by Lockheed Martin, for
the U.S. Navy at 8:04 p.m. from Launch Complex 41 Jan. 20.
The United Launch Alliance-built Atlas V rocket flew in the 5-5-1
vehicle configuration with a five-meter fairing, five solid rocket
boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.
MUOS is the next generation narrowband military satellite communication
system that supports a worldwide, multi-service population of users in
the ultra-high frequency band. The system provides increased
communications capabilities to smaller terminals while still supporting
interoperability with legacy terminals. MUOS is designed to support
users who require greater mobility, higher data rates and improved
MUOS-1 was placed into operational use for legacy terminal users in
November 2012. MUOS-2 was launched in July 2013, and the next MUOS
launch is planned for August 2015, according to the Navy Communications
Satellite Program Office.
The system will undergo Multiservice Operational Test and Evaluation in
December 2015 and will achieve Full Operational Capability in 2017.
MUOS adapts a commercial third generation Wideband Code Division
Multiple Access (WCDMA) cellular technology with geosynchronous
satellites to provide a new and more capable UHF military SATCOM system.
The MUOS program includes a satellite constellation of four operational
satellites (plus one on-orbit spare), a ground control and network
management system, and the new WCDMA waveform for user terminals.
In addition, MUOS will provide greater than 10 times the communications bandwidth capacity over the current UHF constellation.
Col. Shawn Fairhurst, 45th Space Wing Vice Commander, served as the
Launch Decision Authority for this vitally important mission.
"Congratulations to Team Patrick-Cape, our U.S. Navy partners, United
Launch Alliance, Lockheed Martin and all our other mission partners for
ensuring another successful mission, our No. 1 priority here at the 45th
Space Wing," said Col. Fairhurst. "This was the second launch of
approximately two dozen missions we have scheduled on the Eastern Range
for 2015. The success of every mission is due to the teamwork of all
"We are very proud of the team and mission partners we have here," he
said, "who flawlessly deliver vital space capabilities for our Nation."