First launch of the year to blast off Friday

Atlas V rocket set for Thursday night launch

According to Florida Today, the launch was originally scheduled for Thursday night, but was scrubbed due to a problem with a booster engine sensor and other aircraft entering the launch area before liftoff.

Called the SBIRS GEO-3, the satellite going into space tonight is part of the Defense Department's Space-Based Infrared System, or SBIRS. "Regional systems present in Asia and the Middle East are well within the range of our deployed forces, as we've seen over the last years of combat operations".

The launch window opens at 7:46 p.m.

It is reported, that the ULA will provide a live feed of the launch on YouTube.

The backup launch opportunity is on Friday.

Atlas V rocket set for Thursday night launch
Watch ULA's first launch of 2017: A global surveillance satellite for the Air Force

It will detect the heat signatures that any missile will produce when it's about to get launched, this will give U.S military enough time to prepare themselves or to activate any defensive measure to counter the imminent threat.

Mission Description: SBIRS, considered one of the nation's highest priority space programs, is created to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities to meet 21st century demands in four national security mission areas including: missile warning, missile defense, technical intelligence and battlespace awareness.

ULA has enjoyed a 100% success rate for this 69th Atlas V launch stretching back to the company's founding back in 2006. The satellite is shrouded in an aluminum fairing 14 feet in diameter and 39 feet long. You'll also be able to watch the rocket launch here, courtesy of ULA.

This mission marks the 34th Atlas V mission in the 401 configuration. SBIRS GEO-5 and GEO-6 are now in production.

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