Update for 4:53 pm ET: The United Launch Alliance successfully launched an Atlas V rocket carrying the AEHF-6 military communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force at 4:18 p.m. EDT (2018 GMT). Read our full story here.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the new AEHF-6 military communications satellite for the U.S. Space Force in what will be the first launch for the new U.S. military branch. You can watch the launch live here.
The Atlas V rocket was scheduled during a 2-hour launch window that opened at 2:57 p.m. EDT (1857 GMT). A "hold" was called at the T-46 seconds mark, with ULA engineers currently evaluating the issue. The Atlas V is carrying the sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite for the U.S. military. AEHF-6 is the final satellite in an advanced, powerful constellation of communications satellites to serve the U.S. Armed Forces.
Rocket: Atlas V 551
Mission: Sixth Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-6)
Launch Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020 with a two-hour launch window starting at 2:57 p.m. ET.
Launch Location: Space Launch Complex-41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Mission Information: United Launch Alliance will use an Atlas V 551 rocket to launch the sixth and final spacecraft in the Lockheed Martin-built Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) series for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. AEHF satellites provide global, survivable, protected communications capabilities for strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea and air platforms. Atlas V rockets successfully launched the first five AEHF satellites between 2010 and 2019.
Launch Notes: The AEHF-6 launch will mark the 83rd Atlas V mission since the inaugural launch in 2002 and the 11th in the 551 configuration.
Launch Updates: To keep up to speed with updates to the launch countdown, dial the ULA launch hotline at 1-877-852-4321 or join the conversation at www.facebook.com/ulalaunch, twitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch; hashtags #AtlasV and #AEHF6.
Europe's #SpaceConnectsUs event!
European Space Agency astronauts, scientists and Asteroid Day planners will bring space down to Earth today (March 26) to show the world how #SpaceConnectsUs in a live event that begins at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) and will be provided in different languages. You can watch it here, courtesy of ESA.
The #SpaceConnectsUs event will stream live connections with ESA astronauts Tim Peake, Alexander Gerst, Samantha Cristoforetti, Matthias Maurer, Thomas Reiter, Frank de Winne and André Kuipers, with celebrity hosts Brian Cox, Ranga Yogeshwar and Bruce Benamran, as well as special guests like Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory) and Olivia Newton-John and and Paulina Chávez (The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia).
Here is a schedule of the webcast's language-specific programs:
Dutch (NL): 16:00-16:30 CET – 11:00-11:30 EDT – 08:00-08:30 PDT
German (DE): 17:00-17:30 CET – 12:00-12:30 EDT – 09:00-09:30 PDT
Italian (IT): 18:00-18:30 CET – 13:00-13:30 EDT – 10:00-10:30 PDT
French (FR): 19:00-19:30 CET – 14:00-14:30 EDT – 11:00-11:30 PDT
English (EN): 20:00-21:30 CET – 15:00-16:30 EDT – 12:00-13:30 PDT
In Europe and around the world, we’ve been getting used to a different way of living in recent weeks. On Thursday, 26 March, ESA and long-time partner Asteroid Day will host #SpaceConnectsUs – a chance to connect across borders and hear from space explorers, artists, and scientists about how to manage ourselves and our environment as our communities battle a global pandemic.
#SpaceConnectsUs is an online event running from 16:00–21:00 CET (15:00–20:00 GMT) on ESA WebTV and ESA YouTube to help everyone practising social distancing or in isolation enjoy science, our home planet, and our dreams of the sky above us.
The programme will feature remote connections with astronauts and guests from all over the world. The presenters and guests will speak to children, young adults and their families and friends about their experience and techniques in confined places, lessons in life from space exploration, their trust in science and their sources of inspiration. The programme runs in five language segments starting at 16:00 in Dutch, followed by German (17:00 CET), Italian (18:00 CET), French (19:00 CET) and English (20:00 CET, 19:00 GMT).
ESA astronauts will be central to the event with Tim Peake, Alexander Gerst, Samantha Cristoforetti, Matthias Maurer, Thomas Reiter, Frank de Winne and André Kuipers among those lending their time and talents. Celebrity hosts include Professor Brian Cox, Ranga Yogeshwar and Bruce Benamran, while special guests from the creative arts will include Mayim Bialik (The Big Bang Theory and PhD in neuroscience), actor and singer Olivia Newton-John and Paulina Chávez (The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia).
How to get involved
The event is free of charge and 100% digital. You can ask a question starting today, 24 March, using the hashtag #SpaceConnectsUs. Join the live broadcast on ESA WebTV and ESA YouTube to see whether your question gets answered and find out what astronauts recommend to help you and your family through social distancing and quarantine. Find out more about the programme via SpaceConnects.Us.
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About Asteroid Day
Asteroid Day is a UN-sanctioned global awareness campaign taking place annually on 30 June with the mission to inspire, engage and educate the public about asteroids opportunities and risks.
'ISS Live!' Tune in to the International Space Station
Find out what the astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the International Space Station are up to by tuning in to the "ISS Live" broadcast. Hear conversations between the crew and mission controllers on Earth and watch them work inside the U.S. segment of the orbiting laboratory. When the crew is off duty, you can enjoy live views of Earth from Space. You can watch and listen in the window below, courtesy of NASA.
"Live video from the International Space Station includes internal views when the crew is on-duty and Earth views at other times. The video is accompanied by audio of conversations between the crew and Mission Control. This video is only available when the space station is in contact with the ground. During 'loss of signal' periods, viewers will see a blue screen.
"Since the station orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes, it experiences a sunrise or a sunset about every 45 minutes. When the station is in darkness, external camera video may appear black, but can sometimes provide spectacular views of lightning or city lights below."