A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket built to carry a sophisticated US national security satellite into space arrived in Cape Canaveral, Florida today after setting sail from the factory aboard the R / S RocketShip.
The Atlas V booster stage and the Centaur upper stage left ULA’s manufacturing facility in Decatur, Alabama on March 23 aboard our exclusive custom-built rocket transport vessel. The ship traveled through shallow rivers and open ocean to reach Port Canaveral last night.
At dawn this morning, technicians boarded the vessel and went to work to release the restrictions that kept the flight hardware safe within RocketShip’s cargo hold during the voyage. At 8 a.m. EDT, Centaur left the ship and headed to the ULA facility for final preparations.
The Atlas reinforcement stage followed behind. A transport truck brought the stage directly to the artillery bay at the Atlas Space Flight Operations Center (ASOC), where it will undergo standard activities before the 107-foot-long stage can be turned upright for launch processing. .
The rocket will launch the fifth missile warning satellite of the Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Geosynchronous Infrared System (SBIRS GEO-5) for the US Space Force’s Missile and Space Systems Center (SMC).
Built by Lockheed Martin, SBIRS GEO-5 will join a constellation of satellites with powerful scan and gaze sensors that provide continuous global surveillance to detect missile launches and provide early warning for the United States and its allies.
This will be the first launch of a satellite built on the company’s modernized LM 2100 Combat Bus, an improved space vehicle that provides even greater resistance and cyber hardening against increasing threats, as well as improved spacecraft power, propulsion and electronics.
Atlas V is the exclusive launch vehicle of choice for the SBIRS GEO series of spacecraft. The rocket successfully launched the first in 2011, the second in 2013, the third in 2017 and the fourth in 2018. Atlas V is also scheduled to launch SBIRS GEO-6 in 2022.
The launch of the SBIRS GEO Flight 5 will use an Atlas V 421 variant, with a four-meter-diameter (13.7-foot) payload fairing, two AJ-60 solid rocket boosters, and a Centaur equipped with a single RL10C cryogenic engine. -1-1. .
Status check in ULA
Military Space News at SpaceWar.com
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