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Satnews Daily
January 17th, 2018

Space Florida's Operational Storage Facility Prepares Upcoming SBIRS GEO 4 for Launch

It's a big facility for a big rocket. Space Florida's Operational Storage Facility (OSF), the OSF at Camp Blanding, near Starke, Florida, has been storing the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket that will launch the U.S. military's fourth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, or SBIRS GEO 4, for missile early-warning detection.

Tomorrow, Thursday, January 18  the United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket will send off at 7:52 p.m. EST, the U.S. military's fourth Space Based Infrared System Geosynchronous satellite, which marks ULA's first Florida launch of 2018. The flight plan is that the rocket will fly in the 411-vehicle configuration with a four-meter fairing, one solid rocket strap-on booster and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

The OSF serves as the pre-launch storage and check-out facility for the Atlas V's solid rocket boosters (SRB) while they await their call-up on a mission. Once required for a launch, the motors are transported to CCAFS Complex 41 Vertical Integration Facility for attachment to their Atlas V booster. Space Florida's OSF has the capability to house a total of 20 SRBs, allowing for rapid availability when the motors are required at CCAFS. 

The Atlas V SRBs are manufactured at Aerojet Rocketdyne's production facility in Sacramento, California. When missions require additional thrust at liftoff, ULA integrates up to three solid rocket boosters on the Atlas V 400 series launch vehicle and up to five SRBs on the Atlas V 500 series vehicles. The Atlas V SRB uses the world's largest monolithic filament-wound carbon composite case.