• An Atlas V launch vehicle carrying the Navy's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite lifts off from Space Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance/Released)
     An Atlas V launch vehicle carrying the Navy's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) communications satellite lifts off from Space Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of United Launch Alliance/Released)

Navy's Newest MUOS Satellite Reaches Orbit

November 3, 2016
By Julianne Simpson
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The U.S. Navy's newest communications satellite has reached its operational orbit and successfully deployed its arrays and antennas, months after a post-launch difficulty delayed its voyage to geosynchronous orbit earlier this year, a Navy spokesperson says.

The fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite experienced problems this summer, the result of a failure of the orbit-raising propulsion system during a transfer maneuver, says Steven A. Davis, a spokeman with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.

MUOS-5 was scheduled to begin on-orbit November 3. It will complete the five-satellite MUOS constellation once on-orbit testing is complete.

The MUOS system also includes four ground stations across the globe, a network management system and an integrated Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) waveform, which is designed to provide improved communications capabilities to users around the world, regardless of where they are in relation to a satellite.

MUOS-5 launched June 24 but experienced failure five days after liftoff. The transfer maneuver was designed to take the satellite from its initial elliptical launch orbit to its final circular geosynchronous orbit.

The MUOS full system will provide 3G-like cellphone communications for the next decade and beyond.

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