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Atlas launches SBIRS satellite
Posted: Sun, May 8, 2011, 2:41 PM ET (1841 GMT)
Atlas 5 launch of SBIRS GEO-1 (ULA) An Atlas 5 rocket launched the first of a new series of missile warning satellites on Saturday. The Atlas 5 401 lifted off on schedule at 2:10 pm EDT (1810 GMT) Saturday from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and placed the Space Based Infrared Systems (SBIRS) GEO-1 satellite into a geosynchronous transfer orbit about 40 minutes later. SBIRS GEO-1 will be used to detect ballistic missile launches, part of a new system of satellites that will eventually replace the existing Defense Support Program satellites that serve the same mission. The launch, the 50th conducted by United Launch Alliance (ULA), was delayed a day because of poor weather.
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