The U.S. military's newest missile-warning satellite will be launched from a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, on Friday.
Lockheed Martin-built SBIRS (Space Based Infrared System satellite) GEO Flight 4 was supposed to be launched on Thursday, but troubles with a liquid oxygen valve in ground equipment thwarted the first launch, preventing oxidizer from being loaded in the booster.
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 U.S. military to detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense and gather broader intelligence.
The first two satellites, SBIRS GEO Flights 1 and 2, have been operational since 2013. SBIRS GEO Flight 3 was launched in January 2017. Two other satellites, SBIRS GEO Flights 5 and 6, are expected to follow.
The Air Force's SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit and hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO). 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.
US space transport services company SpaceX launched a super-secretive US government payload into orbit from its Falcon 9 rocket in the early hours of January 8. The Falcon lifted off at 8 p
NASA has teamed up with the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build robots that can not only refuel and repair satellites, but also sabotage enemy spacecraft in the event of space war. These robotic satellites, known as ‘service stations in orbit, could improve the lifespan of satellites
The US Navy's Communications Satellite Program Office, PMW 146, and Lockheed Martin handed over full operational control of the fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite to the Naval Satellite Operations Center (NAVSOC). The October 11 milestone followed the completion of the MUOS-5 satellite's on-orbit testing and delivery of all operational products needed to "fly" the satellite
The US Air Force has declared Lockheed Martin-built GPS III satellite available for Launch. The Air Force's "AFL" declaration is the final acceptance of Lockheed Martin's first GPS III Space Vehicle (GPS III SV01) prior to its expected 2018 launch
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