ULA launches Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral

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The satellites fly in geostationary orbits, according to Space.com, carrying powerful scanning and infrared surveillance gear to track missile launches from orbit.

Capt. Krystin Cooper from the Remote Sensing Systems Directorate at the Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center in L.A has declare that America and its allies are getting more and more threats each day and it is imperative to detect missile launches accurately in order to prepare defense. ULA's coverage starts 20 minutes before the launch window opens, so check back then to see if this rocket gets off the ground. But forecasters said the weather is 90 percent favorable for a launch. The SBIRS program is created to act as a missile-warning system and provide technical intelligence. It was the 75th launch by an Atlas V rocket.

Tonight's launch is the first scheduled United Launch Alliance mission to take place from Cape Canaveral in 2018.

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The video shows the Atlas 5's rollout to the pad, liftoff, and separation of the Lockheed Martin-built SBIRS GEO Flight 4 spacecraft in orbit. There were no details available about which orbit the SBIRS payload would hopefully be delivered to on Thursday evening.

United Launch Alliance has packed two days of rollout, countdown and launch activities into a two-minute video highlighting Friday night's blastoff of an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral with the U.S. Air Force's SBIRS GEO Flight 4 missile-warning satellite.