AEHF Satellite Arrives at Cape

AEHF-2 satellite being unloaded

Left to right, James Liau, Andrew Dawdy, Randall Hicks, and Anh Cecil, discuss the AEHF-2 satellite, being unloaded from a C-5 cargo plane in the background. Photography by Bill Uttenweiler.

A C-5 military cargo plane carried the second Advanced Extremely High Frequency satellite from Mountain View, Calif., to the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) on Monday, Feb. 13, for launch processing. Aerospace employees James Liau and Andrew Dawdy accompanied the satellite. On the ground at KSC’s Shuttle Landing Facility, they were met by Randall Hicks and Anh Cecil of the Eastern Range Directorate.

The first AEHF satellite, launched Aug. 14, 2010, experienced a failure with its apogee kick motor, which was supposed to move the spacecraft into a geosynchronous orbit. Aerospace engineers were key contributors in devising a painstaking 14-month orbit-raising operation using the spacecraft’s hydrazine engine and its Hall Current Thrusters. The orbit-raising operation was completed last October.

AEHF-2 is scheduled to launch on April 27.