USSF-7 mission ready to launch X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle
SMC Public Affairs
/ Published May 14, 2020
CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla --
All systems are “Go” for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Enterprise, who procured a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 501 launch vehicle for this week’s USSF-7 mission, which rolled out today at 10 a.m. EDT to its launch pad at Space Launch Complex-41 on Florida’s Space Coast.
The Atlas V 501 is scheduled to launch the X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle (OTV) for the Department of the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office’s (DAFRCO) on May 16, with the launch window opening at 8:24 a.m. EDT. A live feed will begin 20 minutes before launch and conclude approximately 5 minutes into the flight. Simulcast of the broadcast can be viewed at: http://www.ulalaunch.com/site/pages/multimedia_webcasts.html.
This lift-off will mark the 84th Atlas V vehicle to launch and the seventh in the “501” vehicle configuration with a five-meter diameter payload fairing, no solid rocket motors and a single Centaur upper stage engine. USSF-7 will also mark the 80th National Security Space Launch and the second launch for the newly established United States Space Force.
This launch is dedicated to the memory of COVID-19 victims and in tribute to all first responders and front-line workers as part of the Department of Defense’s America Strong campaign. “We are proud to include the USSF-7 mission in the America Strong campaign honoring all those affected by and battling the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Col. Robert Bongiovi Director of the Launch Enterprise at the Space and Missile Systems Center. The launch team is taking special precautions to ensure the safety of all mission personnel. These measures include reducing on-site personnel, increasing physical distancing between console operators, and leveraging remote work technologies.
The USSF-7 launch is one of many achievements the Space and Missile Systems Center plans to accomplish this year. SMC’s Launch Enterprise team intends to successfully and responsibly launch seven additional National Security Space missions throughout 2020.
The Space and Missile Systems Center is the U.S. Space Force's center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning, military space vehicle communications, defense meteorological space vehicles, range systems, space vehicle control networks, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.