United Launch Alliance is preparing to launch an Atlas V 401 rocket carrying the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous orbit (GEO) spacecraft.
SBIRS will provide early warning of ballistic missile launches and support other missions simultaneously, including missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace characterization.
Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company, Sunnyvale, California is the SBIRS prime contractor, and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems, Azusa, California is the payload subcontractor.
They are developing SBIRS for the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center, Los Angeles, California. The Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system.
At Launch at L-Minus 10 minutes, polling is taking place, all systems are green and permission has been given for launch. Weather is good.
T-minus 2 minutes.
T-Minus 60 seconds.
Launch. All systems look good.
Main engine cutoff.
Payload fairing has separated.
Centaur second stage has begun its burn.