Created 7-May-11
Modified 8-May-11
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7 May 2011 - An Atlas 5 rocket lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station at 2:10 p.m. EDT with the first Space-Based Infrared System spacecraft.

The SBIRS spacecraft is outfitted with sophisticated infrared sensors that can instantly detect enemy missile launches and then transmit targeting data so the missiles can be destroyed before they reach their intended destinations.