SBIRS GEO-4 Atop Atlas V Successfully Launches During Friday’s Second Attempt


After a scrubbed attempt before the launch window opening on Thursday due to a technical issue, Atlas V carrying SBIRS GEO-4 lifted off from SLC-41 on CCAFS at the beginning of the 7:48pm EST window on Friday, January 19th. This is the fourth SBIRS GEO satellite that has been launched by United Launch Alliance for the US Air Force. These military satellites function to give early warning of potential intercontinental ballistic missile launches. The photo seen above is a long exposure-composite of the launch and star movement.


The image consists of a 237 second long exposure photograph of the launch streak and 20 minutes or roughly 40 photographs of star movement taken directly after the launch occurred. In the foreground of the image lies the well-known mystery boat named “Cuki.” This 45-foot sailboat mysteriously washed up on the shores of Melbourne Beach after the destruction caused hurricane Irma in September of last year.


Author and Photography by Marcus Cote

Spaceflight Journalist, Freelance Photographer, 20-year-old college student

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