Launch Spotlight: SBIRS GEO-6 – ULA set to launch new missile detection satellite

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 421 rocket will launch the sixth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO-6) mission for the United States Space Force’s Space Systems Command to a Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit. The target liftoff time is no earlier than 6:29 a.m. EDT on August 4, 2022, from SLC-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

Launch Overview

Launch Date: August 4, 2022 @ 6:29 a.m. EDT

Payloads: SBIRS GEO-6

Rocket: Atlas V 421

Launch Pad: SLC-41, Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida

Destination: Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit

Landing Site: N/A; Expendable rocket


The Mission

United Launch Alliance is prepared to launch the sixth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO-6) missile detection and early warning satellite for the U.S. Space Force’s Space Systems Command (SSC).

Equipped with powerful scanning and staring infrared surveillance sensors to protect our nation 24/7, the SBIRS spacecraft continue to serve as the tip of the spear for global missile warning as ballistic missile threats proliferate around the world.


What is the Atlas V?

The Atlas rocket has been a workhorse for the United States military and NASA. The Atlas V family tree goes back to the late 1950s as one of the US military’s first ICBMs. However, the military quickly determined liquid-fueled rockets were better suited for the satellite business, and the Atlas launcher was born. NASA and the Department of Defense used the Atlas for Project Mercury, Gemini, and some of the most critical scientific and national security missions throughout its history.

The different versions of Atlas V

The Weather

August 4, 2022

  • 70% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

24-hour Delay

  • 60% GO
  • Primary Concern(s):
    • Cumulus Clouds
  • Risk(s):
    • All Risks Low

Last Updated: August 1, 6:20 p.m. EDT


Where to watch?

United Launch Alliance will be streaming the USSF-12 launch on its YouTube channel. In the meantime, you can check out the mission profile video on ULA’s YouTube channel.

Featured Image: SBIRS GEO-6 – Jared Locke for SpaceExplored.com

Load more...
Show More Comments