Jared: MUOS-3 rides an Atlas V 551 to orbit

The third of five planned Multi User Objective System (MUOS) satellites, MUOS-3 ripped the night skies apart on January 20th during its ascent to orbit aboard an Atlas V launch vehicle. The Atlas V, flown by United Launch Alliance, comes in a variety of configurations, this particular flight utilized the 551 variant, sporting a 5 meter payload fairing, 5 solid rocket boosters, and a single Centaur upper stage engine. The MUOS constellation is used by the United States military to facilitate real-time satellite communication around the globe.


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