Following a successful launch from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida, the U.S. Space Force’s Space Delta 4 operations team is now “talking” with the fifth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO-5) satellite.
As planned, SBIRS GEO-5 — built by Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) — is responding to the Delta’s commands. Signal acquisition was confirmed approximately ~36 minutes after the satellite’s 1:37 p.m. EDT launch aboard a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket. Now separated from the rocket, the satellite is continuing on to orbit under its own propulsion.
SBIRS GEO-5 is the latest satellite to join the Space Force’s orbiting Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) missile warning constellation equipped with powerful scanning and staring surveillance sensors. These 24-7, always-on, orbital guardians detect missile launches, support ballistic missile defense, expand technical intelligence gathering and bolster situational awareness on the battlefield.
Built in about five years, SBIRS GEO-5 is the first military space satellite built on an LM 2100 Combat Bus™, a version of Lockheed Martin’s modernized, modular LM 2100™ space vehicle with greatly enhanced resiliency.
“The world is a more threatening place now with more than 1,000 ballistic missile launches occurring globally every year,” said Tom McCormick, vice president of Lockheed Martin Space’s OPIR Mission Area. “SBIRS is the tip of the missile defense spear, seeing all those missiles and providing our military the ability to ensure our national security and the safety of our armed forces.“