CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla. --
The U.S. Air Force’s 45th Space Wing supported United Launch Alliance’s successful launch of the third Space Based Infrared Systems Geosynchronous Earth Orbit spacecraft aboard an Atlas V rocket from Launch Complex 41 here Jan. 20 at 7:42 p.m. ET.
Today’s successful launch of SBIRS GEO Flight 3 marks the third SBIRS satellite to be launched from CCAFS since 2011 and continues the replacement of the Defense Support Program constellation which has been in operation since 1970.
The SBIRS team is led by the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Remote Sensing Systems Directorate, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, Calif. SBIRS is designed to provide global persistent infrared surveillance capability to meet 21st century demands in mission areas including missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.
The launch is the first major launch operation of 2017 on the Eastern Range and kicks off what is predicted to be a busy year on the Eastern Range.
“Congratulations to ULA, SMC and the entire integrated team who ensured the success of our first of potentially 30-plus launches this year," said Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith, 45th Space Wing commander and mission Launch Decision Authority. “Once again, the entire team worked hand-in-hand to make this another successful launch for the Air Force and our nation. This launch clearly demonstrates the successful collaboration we have with our mission partners as we continue to shape the future of America's space operations and showcase why the 45th Space Wing is the ‘World's Premier Gateway to Space.’”