At 1013 GMT, on 8 August 2019, a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifted-off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking the second launch in 36 hours for the launch site. The mission was in aid of the United States Air Force (USAF) and carried as the primary payload the AEHF-5 (Advanced Extremely High Frequency) communications satellite into a Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO). The satellite weighs circa 6,200 kg.

Also on the launch and attached to a deployer on the aft bulkhead of the Centaur upper-stage is a 12U CubeSat, TDO, which will conduct a space debris investigation mission in LEO. The TDO mission has been developed by the USAF Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC).

The Atlas V lifting-off carrying the AEHF-5 and TDO satellites. Courtesy of ULA


The final, sixth, unit in the AEHF network is planned for launch in March 2020.