The US Navy first mobile user objective system (MUOS) satellite has successfully completed thermal vacuum testing, proving the spacecraft’s overall design and survivability during space vehicle launching and on-orbit operation environments.

During the test, conducted inside Lockheed Martin‘s dual-entry large thermal altitude chamber, the MUOS spacecraft was stressed in a vacuum environment at extreme hot and cold temperatures.

Lockheed Martin vice-president and MUOS programme manager Mark Pasquale said, “The test confirms the spacecraft’s ability to provide critical on-the-move communications for our deployed forces in remote and rugged locations.”

The MUOS satellite is a next-generation narrowband tactical satellite communications system, which will provide enhanced communications for combatants on the move.

The first MUOS satellite, which will replace the current ultra-high-frequency (UHF) system, is scheduled for launch in the first quarter of 2012.