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United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches First AEHF Mission

Atlas V AEHF-1 Mission Booklet

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket successfully launched the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-1 (AEHF-1) satellite for the Air Force at 7:07 a.m. EDT today from Space Launch Complex- 41.

The AEHF constellation of four satellites will provide 10 times greater capacity and channel data rates six times higher than that of the existing Milstar II communications satellites. AEHF-1 will be joined by the next two AEHF satellites to be launched during the next two years by ULA.

This launch marks the fifth mission overall and third Atlas V mission for ULA in 2010. AEHF-1 represents the latest "one-at-a-time" mission success which has been accomplished 43 times since ULA was formed on Dec. 1, 2006.

"ULA is proud to have played an important role in the successful launch of the first of three AEHF satellites for this critical constellation that will directly support the war fighter on the battlefield," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. "This was a tremendous launch campaign highlighted by close teamwork between the U.S. Air Force, the ULA launch team and our many mission partners that made today's successful launch possible. We look forward to launching AEHF-2 in 2011."

This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V 531 launch vehicle configuration. The mission used an Atlas V common core booster powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine, three Aerojet solid rocket motors, a Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne RL10A upper stage engine and a 5.4-meter diameter Ruag composite payload fairing.

ULA's next launch, currently scheduled for Sept. 20, is an Atlas V from Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. It is a National Reconnaissance Office mission in support of national defense.

ULA program management, engineering, test and mission support functions are headquartered in Denver, Colo. Manufacturing, assembly and integration operations are located at Decatur, Ala., Harlingen, Texas, San Diego, Calif., and Denver, Colo. Launch operations are located at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

For more information on the ULA joint venture, visit the ULA Web site at www.ulalaunch.com, or call the ULA Launch Hotline at 1-877-ULA-4321 (852-4321).