The first Lockheed Martin-built Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) geosynchronous (GEO-1) spacecraft beamed down its first infrared image on June 21 to the SBIRS ground station. Following its May 7 launch, the satellite is performing as expected, and is now undergoing early orbit testing.
SBIRS-High and SBIRS-Low.
At one time the two missile defense satellite systems were notorious examples of over budget, technologically challenged military space programs.
SBIRS — space-based infrared systems — was conceived in the early 1990s as the next-generation of spacecraft that could not only warn when intercontinental or theater ballistic rockets were being launched, but track them accurately enough to possibly shoot them down with a missile defense system.