Published: Sat, January 21, 2017
National | By Traci Kelley

Don't miss rocket launch tonight, clear skies forecast

Don't miss rocket launch tonight, clear skies forecast

A US military satellite is scheduled to launch Friday night.

ULA will lives stream the satellite launch during a live webcast on YouTube, which starts at 7:22 p.m.

The United Launch Alliance will launch the Atlas V carrying the SBIRS GEO Flight 3 Mission, a U.S. Air Force satellite, f rom Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at approximately 7:42 p.m.

During the $1.2 billion mission, the missile will track a wide area of the Earth in search of scattered missiles that could belong to enemy forces, which Col. Dennis Bythewood, director of the Air Force's Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at Los Angeles Air Force Base, said could be spread across a wider area than missile threat locations during the Cold War, USA Today reported.

ULA last Thursday also made progress preparing for its second launch of the year, lifting a Delta IV rocket booster vertical at Launch Complex 37. The weather forecast looks good, with a 70 percent chance of conditions meeting launch rules.

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On Thursday, a launch was scrubbed less than four minutes from liftoff, as officials called a "Hold, hold, hold" when they noticed an aircraft in the area.

ULA is a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin with 116 successful launches under its belt.

According to a ULA press release, SBIRS, considered one of the nation's highest priority space programs, is created to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st century demands in four national security mission areas including: missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

Launch Notes: SBIRS GEO Flight 3 will be ULA's first launch of 2017 and the 69th Atlas V mission overall. SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6 are now in production.

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