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U.S. Navy launches 3G communications satellite

WASHINGTON, Feb. 24 — The U.S. Navy on Friday sent a 3G communications satellite into orbit from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

The MUOS-1, took off at 5:15 p.m. EST (2215 GMT), would be part of the Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) which provides communications for aircraft, ship, submarine and ground forces with a capacity over 10 times more than the Navy's current UHF Follow-On constellation.

The spacecraft would settle into a geostationary orbit above the Pacific Ocean, then undergo about six months of checkouts and tests before becoming operational.

The launch had been scheduled for last week and two previous attempts were called off on both Feb. 16 and Feb. 17. due to strong upper-level winds.

"MUOS will greatly enhance the capabilities of the warfighter to communicate on the move," said Mark Pasquale, MUOS program manager and a vice president at Lockheed Martin, which builds the MUOS satellites for the U.S. military. (PNA/Xinhua)

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