A Missile Warning Satellite Blast Was Sent from Cape Canaveral

ULA atlas V

ULA atlas V

SBIRSFlight 4 is the fourth in a series of Air Force missile-detection satellites created to use advanced scanners and infrared detectors to track launches of ballistic missiles. ULA's coverage starts 20 minutes before the launch window opens, so check back then to see if this rocket gets off the ground.

The launch is planned for Friday, Jan. 19, from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. So far, there's a 90 percent chance of favorable weather.

The SBIRS satellites will collect data and relay it to an Air Force command center where it will be used to issue missile warnings and inform decisions related to missile defense systems, as well as improve battle space awareness and technical intelligence.

ULA also had another launch on the 12 of January from California, the 75 launch using an Atlas V rocket.

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United Launch Alliance has packed two days of rollout, countdown and launch activities into a two-minute video highlighting Friday night's blastoff of an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral with the U.S. Air Force's SBIRS GEO Flight 4 missile-warning satellite.

The mission was ULA's second of the year and second in a week, following a January 12 flight from California.

The Atlas V, made and operated by United Launch Alliance, launched the three previous SBIRS satellites that all went to the same orbit.

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

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