What Do SBIRS-GEO-3, Gemini VII and Bumper 7 All Have in Common?

An Atlas V rocket, flying in the 411 configuration lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on Friday, January 19, 2018. The logo on the fairing clearly said SBIRS-GEO-4, but the satellite inside the fairing was the third Space-Based Infrared System Geosynchronous Earth Orbit (SBIRS-GEO-3) satellite off the production line. This isn’t the first time that a mission launched out of sequence. Gemini-7 launched before Gemini-6. Bumper-8 launched before Bumper-7. And now, the 4th SBIRS-GEO launched one year before the third SBIRS-GEO.

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