US Air Force Launches Advanced Missile Defense Satellite - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

US Air Force Launches Advanced Missile Defense Satellite

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Air Force launched the second satellite in its next-generation missile warning constellation Tuesday (March 19) from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The satellite, known as GEO-2, is the second dedicated satellite in geosynchronous orbit in the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) and was launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket.

 "We are confident this satellite will meet or exceed expectations and play a pivotal role in our national security for years to come," Jeff Smith, Lockheed Martin's vice president of Overhead Persistent Infrared (OPIR) mission area, said in a press release. Lockheed Martin Space Systems of Sunnyvale, Calif., is prime contractor on the multibillion-dollar program. Northrop Grumman is the payload manufacturer.  

"Today's successful launch of the GEO-2 satellite marks another milestone in the evolution of infrared surveillance from space," Stephen Toner, Northrop Grumman's vice president of the Military and Civil Space business area, said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "The team played a significant role ensuring that the sensors on GEO-1 are performing beyond specification, and we are confident that the GEO-2 sensors will exhibit similar performance."  

When fully deployed, the SBIRS system includes four dedicated satellites in geosynchronous orbit, infrared sensors hosted on classified satellites in highly elliptical orbits, and a network of ground stations to receive, process and distribute the data. SBIRS is the replacement for the Defense Support Program constellation of satellites that have provided missile warning since the early 1970s.

The newer satellites, featuring scanning sensors that cover large swaths of territory and staring sensors that focus on smaller areas of interest, are expected to significantly improve the Pentagon's missile detection and military-intelligence gathering capabilities. In particular, the SBIRS craft are expected to be much better than their predecessors in detecting launches of relatively short range missiles.

GEO-1 was launched in May 2011 and has troubled Air Force officials with an intermittent communications glitch. Air Force officials and Lockheed Martin executives have said they do not expect the problem to resurface in GEO-2. The third geosynchronous satellite, GEO-3, is expected to launch in 2015, with the fourth to follow about a year later.

Air Force officials expect to issue production contracts for the fifth and sixth dedicated satellites later this year.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • National NewsMore>>

  • Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 13th

    Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 13th

    Thursday, December 14 2017 2:00 AM EST2017-12-14 07:00:10 GMT

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 13th.

    More >>

    Here are the extended versions of the KHQ Local News 11 at 11 Mad Minute stories from Wednesday, December 13th.

    More >>
  • C-A-T named D-O-G is star canine trainer

    C-A-T named D-O-G is star canine trainer

    Thursday, December 14 2017 1:22 AM EST2017-12-14 06:22:50 GMT
    Support Dogs, IncSupport Dogs, Inc

    ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) - A cat with an unlikely name has an important job at a training center for dogs. Support Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis took in the black and white cat over the summer and named him D-O-G (dee-OH'-jee). He's more than a mascot - officials say he plays a key role getting the dogs comfortable around other animals. Assistance dogs need to be well-behaved and not be distracted in their job helping people who are deaf or have mobility problems. Support Dogs preside...

    More >>

    ST. LOUIS, MO (AP) - A cat with an unlikely name has an important job at a training center for dogs. Support Dogs, Inc. in St. Louis took in the black and white cat over the summer and named him D-O-G (dee-OH'-jee). He's more than a mascot - officials say he plays a key role getting the dogs comfortable around other animals. Assistance dogs need to be well-behaved and not be distracted in their job helping people who are deaf or have mobility problems. Support Dogs preside...

    More >>
  • Kentucky lawmaker facing assault allegations commits suicide

    Kentucky lawmaker facing assault allegations commits suicide

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 9:13 PM EST2017-12-14 02:13:55 GMT
    (Timothy D. Easley/ Associated Press)(Timothy D. Easley/ Associated Press)

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker in Kentucky facing sexual assault allegations has committed suicide. Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell says Rep. Dan Johnson shot himself Wednesday on a bridge in Mount Washington, Kentucky. Tinnell confirmed the death to WDRB-TV in Louisville. The 57-year-old Johnson was elected to the state legislature in 2016. On Monday, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an account from a woman saying Johnson s...

    More >>

    FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A Republican lawmaker in Kentucky facing sexual assault allegations has committed suicide. Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell says Rep. Dan Johnson shot himself Wednesday on a bridge in Mount Washington, Kentucky. Tinnell confirmed the death to WDRB-TV in Louisville. The 57-year-old Johnson was elected to the state legislature in 2016. On Monday, the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an account from a woman saying Johnson s...

    More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Possible worker radiation exposure at Hanford has halted a project

    Possible worker radiation exposure at Hanford has halted a project

    Thursday, December 14 2017 7:46 PM EST2017-12-15 00:46:28 GMT
    Hanford SiteHanford Site

    HANFORD SITE - Demolition at a highly contaminated complex at the Hanford nuclear reservation was halted Wednesday after monitors worn by the workers showed they might have inhaled radioactive particles on the job. To ensure safety during demolition at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP), the Department of Energyy (DOE) and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company have a robust monitoring system, which includes air

    More >>

    HANFORD SITE - Demolition at a highly contaminated complex at the Hanford nuclear reservation was halted Wednesday after monitors worn by the workers showed they might have inhaled radioactive particles on the job. To ensure safety during demolition at the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP), the Department of Energyy (DOE) and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company have a robust monitoring system, which includes air

    More >>
  • Deputies confirm missing Spokane woman in remote area of Shoshone County found safe

    Deputies confirm missing Spokane woman in remote area of Shoshone County found safe

    Thursday, December 14 2017 7:27 PM EST2017-12-15 00:27:17 GMT

    SHOSHONE COUNTY, Idaho - The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office and Idaho State Police are actively searching for a missing Spokane woman north of Kingston near Coeur d'Alene River Road.  Undersheriff Holly Lindsey tells us that this all started Wednesday night when three girls, two of them teenagers and one in her 20's, went north to watch the meteor shower. 

    More >>

    SHOSHONE COUNTY, Idaho - The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office and Idaho State Police are actively searching for a missing Spokane woman north of Kingston near Coeur d'Alene River Road.  Undersheriff Holly Lindsey tells us that this all started Wednesday night when three girls, two of them teenagers and one in her 20's, went north to watch the meteor shower. 

    More >>
  • Police investigate tie between Missoula bones and Michigan case

    Police investigate tie between Missoula bones and Michigan case

    Thursday, December 14 2017 7:21 PM EST2017-12-15 00:21:21 GMT
    Courtesy ABC13Courtesy ABC13

    MORENCI, MICHIGAN - Police are investigating whether the remains of three children found in Missoula could possibly solve a years-long mystery in Michigan. Experts determined that bones found in a shed in Missoula in September belonged to three children, estimated ages 2-4, 5-8, and 6-10 the time of their deaths. Authorities have not indicated whether the bones show evidence as to cause of death. According to reporters at 13abc in Toledo, 

    More >>

    MORENCI, MICHIGAN - Police are investigating whether the remains of three children found in Missoula could possibly solve a years-long mystery in Michigan. Experts determined that bones found in a shed in Missoula in September belonged to three children, estimated ages 2-4, 5-8, and 6-10 the time of their deaths. Authorities have not indicated whether the bones show evidence as to cause of death. According to reporters at 13abc in Toledo, 

    More >>