ULA rocket launches Space Force satellite from Florida

Atlas V lifts off carrying missile-detection satellite

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – After a 24-hour delay, United Launch Alliance launched a military satellite from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 41.

The launch of an Atlas V rocket was delayed Monday due to technical issues. At 1:37 p.m. Tuesday the Atlas V lifted off from the launchpad sending a U.S. Space Force Satellite into orbit.

The launch was originally scheduled for 1:31 p.m. but after a final assessment during the countdown mission managers shifted the liftoff time.

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This launch put the Space Force’s fifth Space-Based Infrared System satellite, or SBIRS GEO-5, into orbit.

“SBIRS provides continuous surveillance to detect missile launches and provide early warning for the Unites States and our allies in an effort to save lives,” according to ULA.

There were also two ride-sharing payloads onboard this flight, both technology demonstration CubSats for the U.S. Air Force Academy.

The Atlas V was rolled out to the pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Launch Complex 41 on Saturday, just hours ahead of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch from Kennedy Space Center’s pad 39A. That launch carried 52 Starlink satellites into orbit for the private space company.

SBIRS GEO-5 marks ULA’s first Florida launch of the year and 16th overall for the Space Coast.

News 6 partners Florida Today contributed to this report.

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About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and ClickOrlando.com. He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.