Liftoff of the Atlas V rocket came at 7:48 p.m. EST Jan. 19 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The satellite — built by Lockheed Martin at a reported cost of $1.2 billion — was set for deployment into preliminary orbit about 42 minutes after launch.
The launch was the first of an Atlas V in 2018 and 75th overall of that type of rocket. It had been planned for Jan. 18 until a “ground issue associated with the booster liquid oxygen system” prompted a scrub.
The Atlas V lifted a Space-Based Infrared System satellite into orbit 22,300 miles above the equator. The Air Force has put a total of four SBIS satellites into space to help in the nation’s defense against missile attacks.
On Jan. 12, ULA used a Delta IV to launch a spy satellite into orbit for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office.