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A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS GEO) Flight 5 mission for the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) lifted off on May 18 at 1:37 p.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. To date ULA has launched 144 times with 100 percent mission success.
"Thank you to our mission partners for the tremendous teamwork as we processed and launched this asset that provides powerful surveillance and critical capabilities to protect our warfighters," said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. "We are proud to work with the U.S. Space Force to continue to meet the national security needs of our country."
The mission launched on an Atlas V 421 configuration rocket that included a 13.7-ft (4-m) Extra Extended Payload Fairing (XEPF). The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the RL10C-1-1 engine for the Centaur upper stage and the two AJ-60A solid rocket boosters.
This was the 87th launch of the Atlas V rocket and the 72nd Atlas V to launch from Space Launch Complex-41 in Florida.
ULA's next launch is the Space Test Program (STP)-3 mission for the U.S. Space Force's Space and Missile Systems Center, planned for June 23, 2021, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida.