SBIRS GEO-3 Launch
United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401
Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
January 21, 2017 @ 7:42 PM EDT
The Space Based Infrared System consists of several satellites to watch over the globe for ballistic missile launches. The SBIRS GEO satellites are located in unspecified regions over the Earth in geosynchronous orbit, and use advanced infrared sensors for early warning detection of large infrared events like a missile launch. The Lockheed Martin built satellites are based off of the highly successful A2100, although they take advantage of a militarized version. The SBIRS constellation is a successor to the DSP satellites, and is considered one of the nation's highest priority satellite programs. This is the third SBIRS GEO launch, and it will be followed by the SBIRS GEO-4 launch sometime late 2017. The SBIRS GEO satellites so far have all flown the United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.