United Launch Alliance’s Atlas 5 rocket took off with American Airforce Cubesat and successfully placed it in the appropriate orbit. The Atlas 5 rocket took off and deployed Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-5) communications satellite and put it in orbit. The rocket took off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida and placed the CubeSat in orbit within 5 hours and 40 minutes. The upper stage of the rocket released the Payload of American Airforce as it was loaded as the secondary Payload. ULA spokeswoman Heather McFarland announced the status of Mission as Complete and Successful.
This is the first time when AirForce Space and Missiles Mission center designed a mission, in which the rideshare payload separates from the rocket before the anchor mission. The engineering work for the Cubesat satellite to fit on the Centaur’s aft bulkhead carrier was done by Parsons Engineering. The Cubesat will help the entities to monitor the space debris efficiently. Parsons Engineering has awarded a $100-million contract for engineering works and work as launch manifest systems integrator. According to Carey Smith, Chief Operating Officer of Parsons, the company has manifest development, assembly, mission integration, and technical analysis tasks to cover under this contract.
Parsons took nearly Seven months to get the Payload ready to attach on the Atlas 5 rocket of the United Launch Alliance. With the unique engineering solutions, the company can work with almost any satellite and launch vehicle. Parsons will undertake a similar project soon, in which they will have to attach Landsat 9, a NASA Earth observation satellite onto the ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket for a flight scheduled in December 2020. Carey Smith said that the Landsat 9 would be a secondary payload and they will continue to work with secondary payloads till SMC instructs them to abort.