The United Launch Alliance has worked with the U.S. Air Force‘s 45th Space Wing to launch the third and fourth Orbital ATK-built Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Program satellites aboard a Delta IV rocket.
The Air Force said Friday the launch of the two GSSAP satellites is part of the AFSPC-6 mission to advance space situational awareness.
The Air Force Space Command-operated satellite constellation serves as a dedicated space surveillance network sensor for U.S. Strategic Command space surveillance operations and collects data on man-made orbiting objects for the Joint Functional Component Commander for Space, the service branch added.
The launch vehicle was equipped with an RS-68A booster core engine and an RL10B second-stage engine, with both liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen engines built by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
ULA added the newly launched satellites will join the first two GSSAP satellites launched two years prior to support efforts to detect and characterize space system disturbances in the geosynchronous environment.
The company is also set to launch the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft for NASA aboard Atlas V on Sept. 8 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.