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Awesome Launch Photos: US Navy's MUOS-4 Satellite Streaks Into Space

MUOS-4 Launch

United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 satellite took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:18 a.m. EDT (1018 GMT).

MUOS-4 Launch Exhaust Trail

United Launch Alliance

The MUOS-4 satellite launched aboard an Atlas V rocket on Sept. 2, 2015. The rocket trail reflected sunlight in the early dawn hours to create this stunning aerial light show.

MUOS-4 Launch Arc

United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 satellite took off from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 6:18 a.m. EDT (1018 GMT). This long exposure snapshot captured the streak of the rocket's fiery tail across the predawn sky. Credit: United Launch Alliance.

MUOS-4 Ready for Launch

United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission for the U.S. Navy awaits liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Sept. 2, 2015.

MUOS-4 Launch #2

United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission for the U.S. Navy lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Sept. 2, 2015.

MUOS-4 Launch #3

United Launch Alliance

An Atlas V rocket carrying the MUOS-4 mission for the U.S. Navy lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida on Sept. 2, 2015.

Meet MUOS-4

United Launch Alliance

The U.S. Navy's fourth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-4) satellite is encapsulated inside a 5-meter (16 feet) payload fairing in preparation for launch on an Atlas V rocket.

How MUOS Works

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin, the company that built the MUOS satellites, created this graphic to show how the MUOS communications array benefits the U.S. military.

MUOS in Space

Lockheed Martin

An artist's illustration of the U.S. Navy's Mobile User Objective System satellite in orbit.

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. Originally founded in 1999, Space.com is, and always has been, the passion of writers and editors who are space fans and also trained journalists. Our current news team consists of Editor-in-Chief Tariq Malik; Editor Hanneke Weitering, Senior Space Writer Mike Wall; Senior Writer Meghan Bartels; Senior Writer Chelsea Gohd, Senior Writer Tereza Pultarova and Staff Writer Alexander Cox, focusing on e-commerce. Senior Producer Steve Spaleta oversees our space videos, with Diana Whitcroft as our Social Media Editor.