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Rocket Launch: United Launch Alliance Atlas V SBIRS GEO 3

Jan 20, 2017 07:42 PM Kennedy Space Center Rocket Launch: United Launch Alliance Atlas V SBIRS GEO 3


Watch from up close as United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The Atlas V rocket will carry SBIRS GEO 3, a satellite of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) that is a consolidated system for United States infrared space surveillance. Built by Lockheed Martin, the SBIRS GEO 3 satellite is deployed for the U.S. military to detect missile launches and provide other tactical support.


Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex offers the closest public viewing of launches with the purchase of a launch transportation/viewing ticket. Availability of viewing opportunities and locations is dependent upon the scheduled launch time and is subject to U.S. Air Force approval.

Launch viewing opportunities for SBIRS GEO 3 are available at the LC-39 Observation Gantry SOLD OUT, Apollo/Saturn V Center and the main visitor complex with bleacher seating and launch commentary. Launch Viewing/Transportation Tickets to LC-39 Observation Gantry  are available for $49, in addition to daily admission. Tickets to Apollo/Saturn V Center are available for $20, in addition to daily admission. Tickets for LC-39 and Apollo/Saturn V Center are available online and by calling 855-475-8415. The main visitor complex viewing area is included with daily admission and is located next to Space Shuttle Atlantis. Restrooms and other amenities are available at all viewing areas. You must purchase a daily admission ticket or an annual pass in order to use launch transportation/viewing tickets. Ticket holders are transported by bus from the main visitor complex to special viewing areas. Though bus boarding begins up to 3 hours ahead of the scheduled launch time, we recommend arriving by 10 am on launch day to assure enough parking for ticket holders.

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Launch date, time, and viewing opportunities are subject to change. Launches can be affected by technical and mechanical issues as well as range operations and weather, either in advance or at the last minute. Learn more about our Launch Scrub Policy.


The Atlas V rocket was introduced by United Launch Alliance (ULA) in August 2002. The Atlas V was developed to provide launch services to the U.S. government and is a part of the Atlas program which in total has logged more than 600 launches to date. Since their debut, Atlas V vehicles have achieved 100 percent mission success in launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Space Launch Complex-3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. The rocket uses a standard common core booster™ (CCB), up to five strap-on solid rocket boosters (SRB), an upper-stage Centaur in either the Single-Engine Centaur (SEC) or the Dual-Engine Centaur (DEC) configuration, and one of several payload fairings (PLF). The SBIRS GEO 3 mission rocket will fly in 401 vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, no solid rocket boosters and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

Atlas V SLC 41

Rocket Launch: United Launch Alliance Atlas V SBIRS GEO 3