U.S. Navy Communications Satellite Experiences Post-Launch Difficulty
MUOS-5 satellite, though delayed, is stable and safe, official says.
A new U.S. Navy communications satellite, which launched in late June, experienced a difficulty on its way to its geosynchronous orbit and has been delayed, a Navy official says. The fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS-5) satellite experienced a failure of the orbit raising propulsion system during a transfer maneuver five days after its June 24 launch, says Steven A. Davis, a spokesman with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command.
The transfer maneuver was designed to take the satellite from its initial elliptical launch orbit to its final circular geosynchronous orbit, Davis says in a statement released Tuesday. “This anomaly resulted in the transfer maneuver being halted. The MUOS-5 satellite is currently stable, safe and under positive control.”
MUOS-5 was supposed to have reached its geosynchronous orbit and enter its test location 22,000 miles above Hawaii by July 3.
The MUOS network will comprise five satellites and is a narrowband satellite communications tool designed to support mobile capabilities. MUOS-5 was launched as an on-orbit spare. The delay in reaching the test location will not impact current legacy or Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (WCDMA) satellite communications operations, Davis says. MUOS-1 through MUOS-4 are in orbit and currently supporting operations via legacy payloads, providing UHF satellite communications for the Defense Department.