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Liftoff! ULA launches missile detection, early warning satellite from Florida's coast

It is now the fifth satellite of its kind to enter space for the U.S.
Credit: ULA feed

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On Tuesday, United Launch Alliance successfully launched a satellite meant to help keep us safe into orbit from Florida's Space Coast.

The Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit satellite, equipped with missile detection and early warning capabilities is now the fifth of its kind in space.

Rocket boosters on ULA's Atlas V rocket came to life, lifting the massive machinery from its tower. All following mission checkpoints were hit as the payloads soared beyond Earth's atmosphere.

Around 16 minutes into the flight, ULA says its two rideshare payloads were successfully released from Centaur's bulkhead and into orbit.

Not too long after the rocket reached the altitude required to release the satellite "to save lives through early warning missile detection."

Missed the launch? You can watch it in the video below:


Original story:

A satellite equipped for missile detection and early warning capabilities will now be lifting off Tuesday afternoon from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

The initial attempt for liftoff was scrubbed after United Launch Alliance's team identified an "anomalous system response" during Centaur liquid oxygen chilldown operations. 

ULA's Atlas V 421 rocket will be responsible for carrying the fifth Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit into space.

And if you're wondering what all that means and how a satellite like that would even work: 

"SBIRS GEO-5 consists of a network of GEO satellites and HEO payloads that provide persistent, infrared surveillance – as well as a sophisticated ground control system that manages that data – to support missile warning, missile defense, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence," according to ULA's website.

The company is currently targeting a 1:31 p.m. launch on May 18 from Space Launch Complex-41.

Tuesday's launch will hit more milestones than one with it being the 144th mission for ULA and the 87th flight of its Atlas V rocket, according to a press release.

"Go Atlas! Go Centaur! Go SBIRS!" the company wrote ahead of launch.

You can catch the mission live by tuning into 10 Tampa Bay where we will be streaming on Facebook and YouTube.

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