"The success of today's launch is the culmination of years of dedication, hard work and teamwork with several of our mission partners", said Gen. Jay Raymond, Chief of Space Operations, U.S. Space Force.
The first official launch for the new U.S. Space Force is scheduled to lift off from Florida on Thursday afternoon with a military communications satellite aboard.
The AEHF-6 satellite will orbit Earth at about 22,200 miles above the planet and will be providing vital information to the U.S. military force, as well as global partners such as Canada, Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.
The newly formed US Space Force launched its first national security satellite on Thursday with lighter staff due to a coronavirus pandemic.
The $ 1 billion satellite is the sixth and last satellite in the US Army's Advanced Extremely High Frequency series.
It will join the other five, which were launched between 2010 and 2019, on Friday around 0400 GMT after reaching geostationary orbit. "We understand the critical importance of delivering protected communications to strategic command and tactical warfighters operating on ground, sea, and air".
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And it gives "senior leadership a survivable line of communications to military forces in all levels of conflict, including nuclear war", it said.
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Another pandemic effect: Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's planned name change to Cape Canaveral Space Force Station is on hold.
The actual satellite deployment will occur roughly five hours after liftoff, and ULA won't be airing that since they typically don't with any national defense-related missions.
Lieutenant General John F Thompson, Commander of the Space and Missiles System Centre in California said the launch had to go ahead despite the COVID-19 crisis.
The Space Force officially became a new branch of the USA military in December. "And this particular launch extends that capability out into the timeframe beyond 2030".