Marking United Launch Alliance’s first rocket flight in 2017, beginning its year of national security and science-enabling missions, the Atlas 5 rocket departs Cape Canaveral carrying the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite.
A new infrared reconnaissance satellite for one of the United States’ highest priority space programs — making early detection of enemy missile launches — was successfully delivered into orbit Friday by an Atlas 5 rocket.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket, standing 189 feet tall and and weighing 720,000 pounds, unleashes 860,000 pounds of thrust from its main engine to launch the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 early-warning satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was transfered from its assembly building to the pad at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 today for Thursday’s launch of the U.S. military’s third SBIRS GEO missile warning satellite.
The third Space Base Infrared Systems Geosynchronous Earth Orbit, or SBIRS GEO Flight 3, was hoisted atop the Atlas 5 on Jan.12 to complete the pre-flight assembly of the 189-foot-tall rocket for launch.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral today at 7:42 p.m. EST (0042 GMT) to deploy the U.S. military’s SBIRS GEO Flight 3 observatory, equipped with advanced telescopic infrared vision to spot enemy missile launches, for early warning surveillance.
This is the launch timeline to be followed by the Atlas 5 rocket’s ascent into orbit from Cape Canaveral with the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 satellite for U.S. military infrared reconnaissance. Launch is scheduled for Thursday at 7:46 p.m. EST (0046 GMT).
Culminating years of construction and testing, a $1.2 billion satellite designed to spot and track enemy missiles threatening the United States homeland, its deployed military forces abroad or allied nations will ascend to a surveillance post in space Thursday.