ULA Retargets Atlas V Launch to May 18 after LOX Issue Scrubs Space Force Early Missile Warning Satellite: Watch Live/Photos

ULA Retargets Atlas V Launch to May 18 after LOX Issue Scrubs Space Force Early Missile Warning Satellite: Watch Live/Photos
UpClose payload fairing and logo view. The SBIRS GEO 5 missile detection satellite for U.S. Space Force is enclosed in the nose cone atop the ULA Atlas V rocket and slated for launch at 1:31 p.m. ET on May 18, 2021 from the Space Launch Complex-41 pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

For SpaceUpClose.com & RocketSTEM

CAPE CANAVERAL SPACE FORCE STATION, FL – Liftoff of the billion dollar early missile warning and defense detection SBIRS GEO-5 satellite for the U.S. Space Force will have to wait another day after an issue with the LOX chilldown today forced a 24 hour launch scrub of the mission critical for U.S. national defense aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Spaceport.

Fortunately, the weather still looks promising.

In the late stages of the Monday’s countdown engineers discovered anomalous reading with the liquid oxygen propellant chilldown operation traced to a ground system issue.

ULA CEO Tory Bruno said the “precious cargo” was top priority and a day’s delay to launch was required!

 

Liftoff of the SBIRS GEO Flight 5 mission for the U.S. Space Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center is now  rescheduled to Tuesday, May 18 at 1:31 p.m. EDT (1731 GMT) from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (CCSFS) in Florida.

ULA Atlas V prelaunch photo by Ken Kremer featured at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando News. The SBIRS GEO 5 missile detection satellite for U.S. Space Force is slated for launch at 1:31 p.m. ET on May 18, 2021 on ULA Atlas V rocket from the Space Launch Complex-41 pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

Atlas V will deliver the SBIRS GEO Flight 5 mission to a geosynchronous transfer orbit (GTO).

This will be the first National Security Space launch from CCSFS this year and more will follow.

SBIRS GEO 5 will add to the constellation of the first four satellites 1 to 4 already operating in geosynchronous orbit (GEO)

The upgraded SBIRS GEO-5 satellite was manufactured by prime contractor Lockheed Martin and is the most advanced early missile warning and missile detection satellite ever built and deployed – at a cost of approximately $1 Billion.

“SBIRS’ role as an ever-present, on-orbit guardian against global ballistic missile threats has never been more critical,” said Tom McCormick, Lockheed Martin’s vice president for Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) Systems. “In 2019 alone, SBIRS detected nearly one thousand missile launches, which is about a two-fold increase in two years.”

Check out my photos of the Atlas V rocket vertical taken at pad 41 for Space UpClose

SBIRS GEO 5 missile detection satellite for U.S. Space Force is slated for launch at 1:31 p.m. ET on May 18, 2021 on ULA Atlas V rocket from the Space Launch Complex-41 pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

You can watch the launch live via a ULA webcast starting about 20 minutes before liftoff

ULA live broadcast coverage of launch will begin at 1:15 p.m. EDT on May 17.

ULA Live launch updates and webcast available at: www.ulalaunch.com

Updates also available at: www.facebook.com/ulalaunchtwitter.com/ulalaunch and instagram.com/ulalaunch

The forecast from meteorologists with newly renamed Space Launch Delta 45 shows an 80 percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.

The Primary Concern is the Cumulous Cloud Rule

Watch for complete details and photos post-launch

My prelaunch photos from pad 41 were featured on WKMG CBS 6 TV News Orlando:

ULA Atlas V prelaunch photo by Ken Kremer featured at WKMG CBS 6 Orlando News. The SBIRS GEO 5 missile detection satellite for U.S. Space Force is slated for launch at 1:31 p.m. ET on May 18, 2021 on ULA Atlas V rocket from the Space Launch Complex-41 pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

Watch Ken’s continuing reports about ULA missions, Starlink, Mars 2020 Perseverance and Curiosity rovers, Artemis and NASA missions, SpaceX, Commercial Crew Starliner and Crew Dragon and onsite for live reporting of upcoming and recent SpaceX and ULA launches including Crew 1 & 2, Demo-2, ISS, X-37B, Solar Orbiter, NRO spysats and national security missions and more at the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.

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

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.
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Ken’s photos are for sale and he is available for lectures and outreach events

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The SBIRS GEO Flight 5 missile detection satellite for U.S. Space Force is perched atop the ULA Atlas V rocket and slated for launch at 1:31 p.m. ET on May 18, 2021 from the Space Launch Complex-41 pad at Cape Canaveral Space Force, Florida. Credit: Ken Kremer/kenkremer.com/SpaceUpClose.com

 

 

SBIRS GEO 5 prepares to ship to Cape Canaveral. Credit: Lockheed Martin

 

 

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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.

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