US Space Force missile-warning satellite rockets into orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A $1 billion missile-warning satellite for the U.S. Space Force rocketed toward orbit Tuesday.

It was the fifth in this series of space-based infrared system satellites. These advanced national security spacecraft are meant to replace the long-time Defense Support Program constellation of surveillance satellites.

United Launch Alliance sent the Atlas V rocket skyward from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. “Bird away,” ULA President Tory Bruno announced via Twitter.

The flight was delayed a day by a bad temperature sensor in ground equipment.

Lockheed Martin won a $1.86 billion contract for this satellite and the next one, due to launch next year. They’re intended for an orbit 22,300 miles (36,000 kilometers) high.

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