ULA Atlas V Liftoff with USAF SBIRS GEO 4 Missile Detection Satellite Reset to Jan 19 after Launch Pad Scrub: Live Webcast

Nighttime view of ULA Atlas V rocket poised for liftoff carrying the SBIRS GEO
Flight 4 mission to geosynchronous orbit for the U.S. Air Force from Space
Launch Complex-41 on
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., on Jan. 18, 2018.   Launch reset
for Jan. 19, 2018. 
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com


Ken
Kremer     SpaceUpClose.com     19
Jan 2018

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION,
FL –
Thursday nights (Jan. 18) Atlas V launch of the SBIRS Geo Flight 4 infrared imaging
missile warning and detection satellite for the U.S. Air Force was scrubbed
shortly before the planned liftoff due to a ground hardware valve issue with
the “booster liquid oxygen system” announced rocket provider
United Launch Alliance.

Blastoff of the ULA
Atlas V rocket carrying the
USAF the SBIRS Geo Flight 4 satellite has been rescheduled to
Fri., Jan. 19 at 7:48 p.m. EST, from 
seaside
Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.  

“The launch of a United Launch Alliance
Atlas V carrying the SBIRS GEO Flight 4 mission was
scrubbed today due to a ground issue associated with the booster liquid oxygen
system,” ULA said in a statement.

ULA Atlas V at
Sunset at pad 41
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla that will deliver SBIRS GEO Flight 4 to geosynchronous orbit for
the USAF on Jan. 19, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com
SBIRS GEO Flight 4 is part of a
constellation of satellites that will detect incoming nuclear and conventional missiles
in case of an enemy attack on the US and its allies.

As the countdown entered its final phases under
perfect weather conditions and crystal clear evening skies the launch team
encountered technical troubles with the
fill-and-drain valve used for
the first stage liquid oxygen propellant.

Meanwhile the launch team continued
loading the second stage propellants as they worked the balky first stage valve
issue.

The team finally called the scrub at 7:06
pm EST after loading the second stage liquid hydrogen propellant.

Flocks
of excited spectators had gathered at beaches and lined causeways ringing the
Florida Space Coast for the especially convenient dinnertime blastoff.

The issue has apparently
been resolved and ULA and the USAF announced launch for a reset to Friday.

You can watch the Atlas launch live via a ULA webcast.

The launch window opens at
7:48 p.m. EST
(0048 GMT).

The launch window extends for 40
minutes from
7:48-8:28 p.m. EST.

The live launch broadcast will begin about 20 minutes
before the planned liftoff at
7:28
p.m. EST
here:

and 

The
current launch weather forecast for Friday, Jan. 18, calls for a 90 percent
chance of acceptable weather conditions at launch time.  The primary concern is for cumulus clouds.

The
backup launch opportunity is on Saturday.

In
case of a scrub for any reason, technical or weather, the weather chances remain
highly favorable.

ULA Atlas V at
Sunset at pad 41
on Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla that will deliver SBIRS GEO Flight 4 to geosynchronous orbit for
the USAF on Jan. 19, 2018.
Credit: Ken Kremer/SpaceUpClose.com
The U.S.
Air Force
satellite will provide vital early warnings on incoming enemy missiles
that are critical to the defense of our homeland and allies.

The Space Based Infrared System
(SBIRS) satellite will be launched to geosynchronous transfer orbit some
22,000 miles (36,000
kilometers) over the equator.

The
194-foot-tall commercial Atlas V booster will launch in the 411 rocket
configuration with approximately 860,000 pounds of sea level first stage
thrust  powered by
the dual nozzle
Russian-built RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. 
 There is one thrust augmenting solid attached
to the first stage generating approximately
348,500  pounds of thrust.     

The SBIRS team is led by the
Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the U.S. Air Force Space and Missile
Systems Center. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, with Northrop Grumman
as the payload integrator. Air Force Space Command operates the SBIRS system,
according to a ULA description.

Watch
for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of Falcon Heavy, ULA and NASA and
space mission reports direct
from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Stay tuned here for Ken’s continuing
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.comwww.spaceupclose.com
– twitter @ken_kremer

ULA Atlas V rocket configuration
graphic: Credit: ULA

Ken Kremer

Ken Kremer

Watch for Ken’s continuing onsite coverage of NASA, SpaceX, ULA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and more space and mission reports direct from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Stay tuned here for Ken's continuing Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news. Dr. Kremer is a research scientist and journalist based in the KSC area, active in outreach and interviewed regularly on TV and radio about space topics. Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.