Atlas V Rocket Launches A Missile Warning And Space Threat Satellite Today, Watch Live

ula launch
Watch live later today as a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541 rocket launches with two satellite payloads for the U.S. Space Force's Systems Command. The launch is scheduled for later this evening, and will deliver the two spacecraft directly into geosynchronous orbit approximately 22,000 miles (25,500 km) above the equator.

The USSF-12 mission for the U.S. Space Force's Systems Command (SSC), will be carrying the Wide Field of View (WFOV) Testbed for SSC's Space Sensing Directorate and the USSF-12 Ring spacecraft for the Defense Department's Space Test Program. The Atlas V rocket will be launching from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida. A webcast is scheduled to start at 5:40 p.m. EDT, and you can watch live via YouTube below.

WFOV is a testbed spacecraft that will inform the Next Gen Overhead Persistent Infrared program (OPIR), which will take the place of the Space Based Infrared Systems program. It is designed to provide a resilient space-based global missile warning capability against emerging missile and counter-space threats, according to ULA.

The WFOV spacecraft will be managed by the NASA Ames Research Center, and is sponsored by Space Systems Command. It is a mid-sized spacecraft that is based on Millennium's AQUILA M8 affordable platform series. WFOV testbed is designed to have a 3-5 year life. The spacecraft's primary mission is to explore future missile warning algorithms with the data it collects in space.

The secondary spacecraft, USSF-12 Ring, is a propulsive ESPA. This spacecraft is part of a classified mission that will demonstrate future technology for the Department of Defense.

launch progress
Image Credit: ULA

The entire mission will only last a little over 7 hours from launch. The Atlas/Centaur will separate from the rest of the launch vehicle at around 4 mins and 30 secs. It will be roughly another 6 hours before the two spacecraft will separate and assume their place in geosynchronous orbit above the Earth.

If you are wanting to watch the ULA Atlas V 541 rocket take flight, you can do so via the YouTube player above. The actual launch is scheduled for today at 6 p.m. EDT, June 30, 2022.

Top Image Credit: ULA