Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

US Air Force's New Missile-Warning Satellite Launching Tonight

US Air Force's New Missile-Warning Satellite Launching Tonight

The rocket is carrying a Space Based Infrared System satellite into geosynchronous orbit to provide "persistent infrared surveillance".

Tonight's launch is set to take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida sometime during a 40-minute window that opens at 7:52PM ET.

The payload includes GEO-4, the fourth satellite in the Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS.

This evening, an Atlas V rocket will launch another satellite for the USA military - one aimed at giving advanced warning of missile launches from space.

The planned flight of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 411 rocket has been scrubbed by at least 24 hours due to unspecified reasons.

Lockheed Martin was responsible for the design and construction of GEO-4, while the U.S. Air Force manages the missile defense system.

"SBIRS provides our military with timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information", Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin's Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area, said in a November 28 statement when SBIRS GEO Flight 4 was shipped to its Florida launch site. A robust, new ground control system serves as the nerve center for the entire constellation, collecting large amounts of data from the satellites' powerful sensors and converting it into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications.

The SBIRS GEO Flight 4 spacecraft, built by Lockheed Martin, will join three similar satellites launched on Atlas 5 missions in 2011, 2013 and 2017.

Like this: