Spaceflight Insider

Photo Gallery: SBIRS GEO 3 launches on ULA Atlas V 401

SBIRS-GEO-3SBIRS GEO 3 is the third satellite launched under the U.S. Air Force’s Space Based Infrared System, which is meant to provide an early warning of missile launches. The SBIRS GEO 3 satellite was sent to geosynchronous orbit atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 rocket on January 20, 2017 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida. The flight had been slated to launch the day prior; however, an instrumentation issue and wayward aircraft caused a 24-hour scrub. This version of the venerable Atlas V expendable launch vehicle utilizes a four meter payload fairing, had no Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ60A solid rocket motors on its first stage as well as a single Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine in the rocket's Centaur upper stage. Photos courtesy: Michael Howard, Michael McCabe, Vikash Mahadeo, Mike Deep


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