Published: Fri, January 19, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Atlas 5 team scrubs launch to study troublesome valve

Atlas 5 team scrubs launch to study troublesome valve

The flight of SBIRS GEO 4 is the first scheduled Cape launch for ULA's Atlas V rocket this year (2018).

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.

The launch is planned for Friday, Jan. 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket will launch the new military satellite, called the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4, from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

From this height, the SBIRS satellites also give information that helps with the United States missile defense systems and data about what kinds of launches are happening on the ground.

The forecast shows a 90 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.


The satellite was scheduled to launch Thursday during a 40-minute window that would have opened at 7:52 p.m.

ULA will provide a live launch webcast beginning at 7:32 p.m. EST (0032 GMT).

Three previous SBIRS satellites launched on Atlas 5 rockets in 2011, 2013 and 2017.

"The succesful launch and operation of this fourth SBIRS GEO satellite will mark the completion of the SBIRS baseline constellation", said Col. Dennis Bythewood, director of the remote sensing systems directorate at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center.

The Air Force's SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit and hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO).

Coverage of the launch can be seen on Space Coast Daily TV.

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