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ULA Launches Dual-Payload Mission for the US Air Force

By | April 16, 2018

ULA’s Atlas 5 lifts off to orbit two payloads for the U.S. Air Force on April 14. Photo: ULA.

A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas 5 rocket carrying the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex 41 Saturday evening. AFSPC 11 is a multi-payload mission: the forward or upper payload is called Continuous Broadcast Augmenting Satcom (CBAS), while the aft spacecraft is known as the EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geosynchronous Experiment (EAGLE).

ULA used an Atlas 5 with a 5-meter payload fairing, an AerojetRocketdyne-built Amross RD-180 engine for the first stage, and five AJ-680 solid rocket boosters and an RL10C-1 engine for the Centaur upper stage.

According to the U.S. Air Force, CBAS is a military satcom spacecraft that will provide relay capabilities from Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (GEO). EAGLE is hosting several payloads for the U.S. Department of Defense, including Mycroft, an Orbital ATK-designed spacecraft that will test technology related to Space Situational Awareness (SSA).