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SBIRS Geo-5 moves closer to launch
The fifth geosynchronous Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) satellite for the US Space Force has successfully completed two months of thermal vacuum tests, according to prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
During testing, which began on 16 April, the SBIRS Geo-5 satellite was exposed to heat and cold in a depressurised atmosphere to simulate the environmental effects of space.
Tucker White, SBIRS Geo-5 assembly, test, and launch operations lead at Los Angeles AFB, said: ‘This test phase is vital to any space vehicle test regime and takes Geo-5 one step closer to providing enhanced missile detection to our warfighters.’
SBIRS Geo-5 is scheduled for launch in 2021. The SBIRS constellation is designed to detect missile launches anywhere in the world and feed the resulting data to the US missile defence network.
The constellation currently comprises four geosynchronous satellites and two others in highly elliptical orbits.
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