By Alicia Garges , Space and Missile Systems Center Public Affairs
/ Published May 11, 2021
The payload fairing with SBIRS GEO-5 encapsulated inside is mated to the Atlas V rocket, which will carry the mission into space. (Photo courtesy of ULA)
LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, El Segundo, Calif. – The United States Space Force’s Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-5 satellite was encapsulated on April 30 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) Florida.
The satellite’s encapsulation within the United Launch Alliance's payload fairing represents completion of the final major testing milestone before launch, as well as a key protective measure for the satellite in preparation for its arduous ascent into the earth’s atmosphere.
After encapsulation, GEO-5 was transported to Space Launch Complex-41, where it was mated with an Atlas V rocket. The SBIRS GEO-5 satellite is scheduled for launch on May 17 at 1:35 p.m. EDT. This is will be the first NSSL launch this year from CCSFS.
The U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center, located at the Los Angeles Air Force Base in El Segundo, California, is the center of excellence for acquiring and developing military space systems. SMC’s portfolio includes space launch, global positioning systems, military satellite communications, a meteorological satellite control network, range systems, space-based infrared systems, and space situational awareness capabilities.