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US Space Force missile-warning satellite rockets into orbit

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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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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

By MARCIA DUNN
AP Aerospace Writer

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