Launch Spotlight: USSF-12 ULA set to launch U.S. National Security mission aboard an Atlas V 541

ula ussf-12

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket will launch the USSF-12 mission for the United States Space Force’s Space Systems Command to a Geosynchronous Orbit. The target liftoff time is no earlier than 6 p.m. EDT on June 30, 2022, from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: June 30, 2022 @ 6 p.m. EDT

Payloads: Wide Field of View Testbed & USSF-12 Ring (Classified Payload)

Rocket: Atlas V 541

Launch Pad: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Geosynchronous Orbit

Landing Site: N/A; Expendable rocket

The Mission

The USSF-12 mission will carry two payloads to a Geosynchronous Orbit: the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed and the USSF-12 Ring spacecraft. The WFOV Testbed is designed to inform the Next Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared program (OPIR), which then, in turn, will succeed the Space Based Infrared Systems program to provide space-based global missile warning capability. Its lifespan is expected to be between three and five years, with its primary mission being to explore future missile warning algorithms.

The USSF-12 Ring spacecraft is a classified payload part of the Department of Defense’s Space Test Program and will demonstrate future technology to the DoD.

What is the Atlas V?

The Atlas rocket has been a workhorse for the United States military and NASA. The Atlas V family tree goes back to the late 1950s as one of the US military’s first ICBMs. However, the military quickly determined liquid-fueled rockets were better suited for the satellite business, and the Atlas launcher was born. NASA and the Department of Defense used the Atlas for Project Mercury, Gemini, and some of the most critical scientific and national security missions throughout its history.

The different versions of Atlas V

The Weather

June 30, 2022

  • 60% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

24-hour Delay

  • 60% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

Last Updated: June 27, 9:07 a.m. EDT

Where to watch?

United Launch Alliance will be streaming the USSF-12 launch on its YouTube channel.

Featured Image: USSF-12 Stacking – United Launch Alliance

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