United Launch Alliance Sending Up SBIRS Missile-Detecting Payload

Credit ULA

Credit ULA

ULA's Atlas V rocket blasted off from Space Launch Complex-41 at Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

SBIRS GEO-4, the fourth satellite of its kind to go into high orbit around the earth, is created to use infrared to spot heat coming from potential missiles launched on earth, giving the U.S.an early heads-up on strikes.

Launch window opens at 7:48 p.m. ET, with coverage starting at 7:28 p.m. ET.

United Launch Alliance launched a missile defense satellite into low-Earth orbit Friday, one day after scrubbing the mission.

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Atlas V will launch another satellite for the United States Air Force Friday evening.

Kelly Bazzle is the Digital Executive Producer at ABC Action News.

The flight of SBIRS GEO 4 is the first scheduled Cape launch for ULA's Atlas V rocket this year (2018).

"Other planned launches include NOAA's GOES-S geostationary weather satellite and NASA's InSight mission to Mars". A robust, new ground control system serves as the nerve center for the entire constellation, collecting large amounts of data from the satellites' powerful sensors and converting it into actionable reports for defense, intelligence and civil applications. ULA tweeted photos Wednesday night of the rocket and the payload verticle on the launch pad prior to the scheduled launch.

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