US Military Launches Missile Defense Satellite (Photos)

SBIRS Geo-2 Satellite Launch Viewed from Atlas 5 Rocket

United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launches the SBIRS GEO-2 missile defense satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 19, 2013 in this still from a ULA webcast.

Liftoff! Atlas 5 Rocket Launches SBIRS GEO-2

United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket launches the SBIRS GEO-2 missile defense satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 19, 2013 in this still from a ULA webcast.

Atlas 5 Rocket Atop Launch Pad: SBIRS GEO-2

Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

The Atlas 5 rocket arrives at the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 18, 2013, in preparation for a March 19 launch of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-2 for the U.S. Air Force.

Atlas 5 Rocket Rolls to Launch Pad: SBIRS GEO-2

Pat Corkery, United Launch Alliance

The Atlas 5 rocket rolls to the launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on March 18, 2013, in preparation for a March 19 launch of the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-2 for the U.S. Air Force.

Atlas V Rocket With Air Force SBIRS GEO-2 Satellite

United Launch Alliance

A United Launch Alliance Atlas V 4-meter diameter payload fairing, with the Air Force's SBIRS GEO-2 satellite inside, is transported and mated to the Atlas 5 rocket in the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. Liftoff is set for March 19, 2013.

Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous (SBIRS) Missile Warning Satellite

Lockheed Martin

An artist's illustration of a Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous (SBIRS) missile warning satellite for the U.S. military in orbit.

SBIRS GEO-2 Satellite Encapsulated

United Launch Alliance

The U.S. Air force's Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO-2 satellite is encapsulated inside a 4-meter diameter payload fairing in preparation for launch aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 401 rocket on March 19, 2013 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

How an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Works (Infographic)

Karl Tate, SPACE.com contributor

Here is how an intercontinental ballistic missile works. [Full Story]

SBIRS GEO-2 Atlas 5 Launch Poster

United Launch Alliance

Mission poster for the U.S. military's SBIRS GEO-2 missile defense satellite mission in March 2013.

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