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ULA Tweetup - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
SBIRS GEO-2 (Atlas V)
18 March 2013 - Page Two of Five
Our bus was parked in the driveway of the Beach House used by the astronauts over the years as a retreat before their respective space flights.
Our next stop was Space Launch Complex 41 for a close-up view of the Atlas V.
This particular configuration of the Atlas V vehicle stands 189 feet tall.
The rail lines the Mobile Launch Platform traveled on are visible in the roadway.
The Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS GEO-2) satellite is encapsulated in the bulbous fairing that will protect the spacecraft during the rocket's flight through the atmosphere.

The SBIRS GEO-2 logo is a giant decal carefully applied to the fairing.

From the ULA Mission Overview:

The Space Based Infrared System is considered one of the nation's highest priority space programs and is designed to provide global, persistent, infrared surveillance capabilities for missile warning and defense, battlespace awareness and technical intelligence.

In the photo above the Atlas V and its support equipment loom large over the ULA and military personnel around the rocket's base.
A view looking away from the pad shows the Vertical Integration Facility where the Atlas V was assembled. At the far end of the road are old buildings that used to support the Titan rockets that previously used this launch pad.
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