SBIRS GEO-5 Ready for Launch

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  • SMC Public Affairs

The United States Space Force Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) spacecraft rolled out to  Cape Canaveral Space Force Station’s Space Launch Complex-41 launch pad at 10 a.m. EDT today.

The launch of the SBIRS GEO-5 satellite aboard an Atlas V 421 rocket is set for May 17, 2021, with the launch window opening at 1:35 p.m. EDT. A live feed will begin 20 minutes prior to the launch and concludes approximately 45 minutes following launch. A simulcast of the broadcast can be viewed at:

The Atlas V rocket has launched more than 80 successful missions across a span of nearly 20 years. The Atlas V 421 has been ordered for this mission with a 4 meter payload fairing, two solid rocket motors, and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

“We’re building strong momentum with the fifth SBIRS GEO satellite ready for launch and the sixth currently in production. Thanks to our mission partners at Lockheed Martin Space Systems and United Launch Alliance, these satellites will soon be contributing to the Space Force’s critical missile-warning mission that protects our nation and allies every single day,” said Lt. Col. Ryan Laughton, SBIRS GEO- 5/6 production materiel leader.

SBIRS is designed to provide global persistent infrared surveillance capability to meet 21st century demands in mission areas including missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness. The program is a high-priority for the U.S. Space Force, offering key support and cutting edge space technology to the national defense portfolio. “We are looking forward to this first USSF launch this year from CCSFC with our mission partner ULA and the GEO-5 satellite team,” said Col. Erin Gulden, SBIRS GEO-5 Launch mission director and chief of SMC’s Atlas and Delta Division.

The SBIRS team is led by the United States Space Force Space and Missile Systems Center’s Production Corps, located at Los Angeles Air Force Base, California. SMC's Launch Enterprise leads the combined government/contractor launch effort. Lockheed Martin is the SBIRS prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman Space Systems as the payload integrator. U.S. Space Force operates the SBIRS system.

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.