Missile-Detecting Satellite Headed to Space on ULA Rocket Tonight

Credit ULA

Credit ULA

The GEO Flight-4 satellite will be launched from Cape Canaveral with a launch window opening at 7:52 p.m. EST.

The launch of a U.S. Air Force satellite created to detect missiles was scrubbed Thursday due to technical issues, according to ULA officials.

The Space Based Infrared System, or SBIRS, GEO Flight 4 satellite was processed at Astrotech Space Operations facility, in Titusville, where it arrived October 31 from California.

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Launch window: 7:48 p.m. As its name implies, the satellite is created to use infrared to spot the heat coming from potential missiles launched on Earth, giving the United States an early heads-up on strikes.

The SBIRS satellites fly in geostationary orbits, and are equipped with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors that collect data for use by the US military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense and gather broader intelligence. SBIRS GEO Flight 4 mission will mark ULA's 125th mission overall since the company was founded in 2006. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 launched in January 2017. Two other satellites, SBIRS GEO Flights 5 and 6, are expected to follow.

Mission Description: SBIRS, considered one of the nation's highest priority space programs, is created to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st-century demands in four national security mission areas: missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

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