CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida — Weather chances are 70% ‘GO’ for Friday’s launch of a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 401 configuration rocket carrying a Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 3 mission from Space Launch Complex 41 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
The mission has a 40-minute launch window that is scheduled to open at at 7:42 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, January 20, 2017.
Launch Weather 70% ‘GO’
According to the latest weather forecast from the United States Air Force 45th Weather Squadron, there is an 70% percent chance overall of acceptable weather conditions for Friday’s launch. The primary weather concern for launch is cumulus clouds and thick clouds.
The Atlas V’s payload is considered one of the nation’s highest priority space programs. SBIRS is designed to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities in national security missions.
SBIRS includes a combination of satellites in GEO orbit, hosted payloads in Highly Elliptical Orbit, and ground hardware and software. The data provided by SBIRS enhances the military’s ability to detect missile launches, supports ballistic missile defense, expands technical intelligence gathering, and bolsters situational awareness on the battlefield.
“SBIRS GEO satellites are our nation’s missile warning sentinels and are critical assets to the U.S. military’s continually evolving mission,” said David Sheridan, vice president of Lockheed Martin’s Overhead Persistent Infrared systems mission area. “With GEO Flight 3’s successful testing and delivery to the launch site, we’re expanding the military’s ability to receive timely, reliable and accurate missile warning and infrared surveillance information.”
Above Image (from left to right): Mission logo, Geo Flight 2 aboard Atlas V, SBIRS satellite. Credits: ULA / Lockheed Martin