A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying a U.S. Space Force missile-warning satellite lifted off Aug. 4 at 6:29 a.m. Eastern from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.
The SBIRS GEO-6 mission was the sixth and last of the Space Based Infrared System constellation of geosynchronous satellites equipped with scanning and staring infrared sensors to detect ballistic missile launches anywhere on the globe.
ULA has launched all six satellites of the SBIRS constellation. The Air Force in 2018 decided to cancel the procurement of the seventh and eighth SBIRS satellites due to concerns that these systems were not resilient to possible attacks by adversaries. The Air Force moved to a new program, the Next Generation Overhead Persistent Infrared. Three Next-Gen OPIR satellites are being built by Lockheed Martin and the first is scheduled to launch in 2025.
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