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Second infrared satellite launched

March 20, 2013 at 1:17 PM

CAPE CANAVERAL AIR FORCE STATION, Fla., March 20 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force's second Space-Based Infrared System GEO-2 satellite has been successfully launched into orbit, officials said.

The satellite manufactured by Lockheed Martin was carried aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket launched from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida Wednesday.

SBIRS GEO satellites will give the United States enhanced capabilities for detecting and tracking hostile missile launches. Lockheed is contracted to build four of the satellites and is procuring long-lead items for additional ones.

"The ULA team is honored to serve a pivotal role in placing this critical capability in orbit for our women and men serving around the world and protecting our freedom," said Jim Sponnick, ULA vice president, Mission Operations. "From nearly two years ago when we began production of the launch vehicle, through today's successful mission delivery, this very strong and well-integrated government and industry team has ensured that mission success remains the highest priority at every step in the process."

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