The mission, procured for Mexico by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services, launched at 6:28 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41.
Averaging almost a launch per month every month since its creation, ULA has successfully launched 40 missions for the United States Air Force, 25 for NASA, the civilian space agency, 19 for the National Reconnaissance Office in charge of the country’s spy satellites and 15 payloads for commercial clients. Morelos-3 is joining the Mexsat satellite constellation, which helps serve Mexico’s national security needs and provides communications to rural zones, ULA representatives said. The Mexsat program is an end-to-end satellite communications system that provides 3G+ communications services to mobile terminals across multiple platforms. All Atlas V launches requiring extra boost performance have flown Aerojet Rocketdyne-produced SRBs, officials say. “I am very proud of our team and their support of ULA’s historic record number of launches since 2006”.
“We need to count on voice, data and video services to grant them the same opportunities as those who live in areas with more access to these technologies”.
ULA’s first Atlas launch was the company’s third; the multi-satellite Space Test Program 1 (STP-1) mission in March 2007 carried six small satellites including the ASTRO and NEXTSat spacecraft used for DARPA’s Orbital Express on-orbit servicing and refuelling experiment. Earlier this year, the Pentagon cleared SpaceX to launch military and spy satellites.
Atlas V rocket launch vapor trail as seen from West Palm Beach.
But under the control of United Launch Alliance, a partnership of Lockheed Martin and Boeing, the Atlas V thundered into the sky with no problems, leaving a trail of white, tinged with orange, through several layers of clouds.
ULA’s first launch was December. 14, 2006, when a Delta II rocket blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.