Atlas V

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Atlas V
Atlas V(401) launches with LRO and LCROSS cropped.jpg
Launch of an Atlas V 401 carrying the LRO and LCROSS
Function EELV/Medium-heavy launch vehicle
Manufacturer United Launch Alliance
Country of origin United States
Height 58.3 meters (191 ft)
Diameter 3.81 meters (12.5 ft)
Mass 334,500 kilograms (737,400 lb)
Stages 2
Payload to LEO 9,800–18,810[1] (21,600–41,480 lb)
Payload to
4,750–8,900 kg[1] (10,470–19,260 lb)
Launch history
Status Active
Launch sites Cape Canaveral SLC-41
Vandenberg SLC-3E
Total launches 45
(401: 21, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 5, 521: 2, 531: 3, 541: 2, 551: 4)
Successes 44
(401: 20, 411: 3, 421: 3, 431: 2)
(501: 5, 521: 2, 531: 3, 541: 2, 551: 4)
Partial failures 1 (401)[2]
First flight 401: 21 August 2002
411: 20 April 2006
421: 10 October 2007
431: 11 March 2005
501: 22 April 2010
521: 17 July 2003
531: 14 August 2010
541: 26 November 2011
551: 19 January 2006
Notable payloads Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
New Horizons
Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
Solar Dynamics Observatory
Boeing X-37B
Mars Science Laboratory
Boosters (Not Heavy) - Aerojet Rocketdyne
No. boosters 1 to 5 (see text)
Engines 1 Solid
Thrust 1,270 kN (285,500 lbf)
Specific impulse 275 seconds (2.70 km/s)
Burn time 94 seconds
Fuel Solid
Boosters (Atlas V Heavy (5HX) (Proposed)) - Atlas CCB
No. boosters 2
Engines 1 RD-180 (2 nozzles)
Thrust 4,152 kN (933,406 lbf)
Specific impulse 311 seconds (3.05 km/s)
Burn time 253 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
First stage - Atlas CCB
Engines 1 RD-180 (2 nozzles)
Thrust 4,152 kN (933,400 lbf)
Specific impulse 311 seconds (3.05 km/s)
Burn time 253 seconds
Fuel RP-1/LOX
Second stage (Atlas V XX1) - Centaur
Engines 1 RL10A
Thrust 99.2 kN (22,300 lbf)
Specific impulse 451 seconds (4.42 km/s)
Burn time 842 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX
Second stage (Atlas V XX2) - Centaur
Engines 2 RL10A
Thrust 185 kN (41,600 lbf)
Specific impulse 449 seconds (4.40 km/s)
Burn time 421 seconds
Fuel LH2/LOX

Atlas V is an active expendable launch system in the Atlas rocket family. Atlas V was formerly operated by Lockheed Martin, and is now operated by the Lockheed Martin-Boeing joint venture United Launch Alliance. Each Atlas V rocket uses a Russian-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene and liquid oxygen to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur upper stage. The RD-180 engines are provided by RD AMROSS, while Aerojet Rocketdyne provides both the RL10 engines and the strap-on booster rockets used in some configurations. The standard payload fairing sizes are 4 or 5 meters in diameter and of various lengths, and are made by RUAG Space. Fairings sizes as large as 7.2 m in diameter and up to 32.3 m in length have been considered.[3] The rocket is assembled in Decatur, Alabama; Harlingen, Texas; San Diego, California; and at United Launch Alliance's headquarters near Denver, Colorado.[4]

In its more than three dozen launches, starting with its maiden launch in August 2002, Atlas V has had a near-perfect success rate. One flight on June 15, 2007, NRO L-30, experienced an upper-stage anomaly when the engine in the vehicle's Centaur upper stage shut down four seconds early, leaving the payload—a pair of naval signals intelligence satellites—in a lower than intended orbit.[5] However, the customer, the National Reconnaissance Office, categorized the mission as a success.[6][7]


The Atlas V is the newest member of the Atlas family. Compared to the Atlas III vehicle, there are numerous changes. Compared to the Atlas II, it is a near-redesign. There was no Atlas IV.

  1. The "1.5 staging" technique was dropped on the Atlas III, in favor of a more-advanced RD-180 engine.[8] The RD-180 features a dual-combustion chamber, dual-nozzle design and is fueled by a kerosene/liquid oxygen mixture.
  2. The main-stage diameter increased from 10 feet to 12.5 feet. As with the Atlas III, the different mixture ratio of the engine called for a larger oxygen tank (relative to the fuel tank) compared to Western engines and stages.[citation needed]
  3. The first stage tanks no longer use stainless steel monocoque "balloon" construction. The tanks are isogrid aluminum and are stable when unpressurized.[8]
  4. Use of aluminum, with a higher thermal conductivity than stainless steel, requires insulation for the liquid oxygen. The tanks are covered in a polyurethane-based layer.
  5. Accommodation points for parallel stages, both smaller solids and identical liquids, are built into first stage structures.[8]

The Atlas V was developed by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services as part of the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The term expendable launch vehicle means each vehicle is only used once. Launches are from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station and Space Launch Complex 3-E at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services continues to market the Atlas V to commercial customers worldwide.[9]

The first Atlas V was launched on August 21, 2002, and all subsequent launches have been successful except for the 2007 anomaly. The Atlas V family uses a single-stage Atlas main engine, the Russian RD-180 and the newly developed Common Core Booster (CCB) with up to five Aerojet made strap-on solid rocket boosters. The CCB is 12.5 ft (3.8 m) in diameter by 106.6 ft (32.5 m) long and uses 627,105 lb (284,450 kg) of liquid oxygen and RP-1 rocket fuel propellants. The booster operates for about four minutes, providing about 4 meganewtons (860,000 lbf) of thrust at start, the major part of this thrust, 4.152 meganewtons being provided by Russian RD-180 engine.[8] If strap-on solid fuel boosters are employed, each provides an additional 1.27 meganewtons (285,500 lbf) of thrust for 94 seconds.

The Centaur upper stage uses a pressure stabilized propellant tank design and cryogenic propellants. The Centaur stage for Atlas V is stretched 5.5 ft (1.68 m) relative to the Atlas IIAS Centaur and is powered by either one or two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10A-4-2 engines, each engine developing a thrust of 99.2 kN (22,300 lbf). The inertial navigation unit (INU) located on the Centaur provides guidance and navigation for both the Atlas and Centaur, and controls both Atlas and Centaur tank pressures and propellant use. The Centaur engines are capable of multiple in-space starts, making possible insertion into low Earth parking orbit, followed by a coast period and then insertion into GTO. A subsequent third burn following a multi-hour coast can permit direct injection of payloads into geostationary orbit.[10] As of 2006, the Centaur vehicle had the highest proportion of burnable propellant relative to total mass of any modern hydrogen upper stage and hence can deliver substantial payloads to a high energy state.[11]

Many systems on the Atlas V have been the subject of upgrade and enhancement both prior to the first Atlas V flight and since that time. Work on a new Fault Tolerant Inertial Navigation Unit (FTINU) started in 2001 to enhance mission reliability for Atlas vehicles by replacing the existing non-redundant navigation and computing equipment with a fault tolerant unit.[12][full citation needed] The upgraded FTINU first flew in 2005,[13][full citation needed] and in 2010 a follow-on order for more FTINU units was awarded.[14][full citation needed]

On February 24, 2012, Atlas V lifted its heaviest payload to date into orbit—a 15,000-pound (6,800 kg) military satellite - MUOS-1.[15]

2007 valve anomaly[edit]

The only anomalous event in the use of the Atlas V launch system occurred on June 15, 2007, when the engine in the Centaur upper stage of an Atlas V shut down early, leaving its payload – a pair of NRO L-30 ocean surveillance satellites – in a lower than intended orbit.[5] The cause of the anomaly was traced to a leaky valve, which allowed fuel to leak during the coast between the first and second burns. The resulting lack of fuel caused the second burn to terminate 4 seconds early.[16] Replacing the valve led to a delay in the next Atlas V launch.[17]

GX rocket[edit]

The Atlas V Common Core Booster was to have been used as the first stage of the joint US-Japanese GX rocket, which was scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2012.[18] GX launches would have been from the Atlas V launch complex at Vandenberg AFB, SLC-3E.

In December 2009, the Japanese government decided to cancel the GX project.[19]


In 2013, the cost for an Atlas V 541 launch to GTO (including launch services, payload processing, launch vehicle integration mission, unique launch site ground support and tracking, data and telemetry services) was about $223 million (inflation adjusted $226 million in 2014).[20] In 2014 the ESA contracted ULA to launch the Solar Orbiter for around $173 million.[21] Since about 2005 Atlas V has not been cost-competitive for most commercial launches, where launch costs were about $100 million per satellite to GTO in 2013.[22]

Future developments[edit]

Atlas V CTS (Crew Transportation System)[edit]

As early as 2006, ULA's predecessor company Lockheed Martin was looking at a human-rated version of the Atlas V. An agreement between Lockheed and Bigelow Aerospace that year was reported that could lead to commercial private trips to low-Earth orbit (LEO).[23]

Beginning in 2010, ULA did design and simulation work to human-rate the Atlas V for carrying passengers. ULA won a 2010 small contract of US$6.7 million in the first phase of the NASA Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDev) to develop an Emergency Detection System (EDS) for human-rating the Atlas V launch vehicle.[24] As of February 2011, ULA "is still finishing up work on its $6.7-million award... In December ULA carried out a demonstration of its Emergency Detection System ... The company said it received an extension from NASA until April 2011 'to enable us to finish critical timing analyses tasks' for [the] fault coverage analysis work."[25]

NASA solicited proposals for CCDev phase 2 in October 2010, under which ULA made a proposal for funding to "finish designing a key safety system for potential commercial crew launches on its Atlas and Delta rocket fleet." While NASA's goal is to get astronauts to orbit by 2015, ULA President and CEO Michael Gass has stated "I think we need to stretch our goals to have commercial crew service operating by 2014" and has committed ULA to meet that schedule.[26] Other than the addition of the Emergency Detection System, no major changes are expected to the Atlas V rocket, but ground infrastructure modifications are planned. The most likely candidate for the human-rating is the 402 configuration, with dual RL10 engines on the Centaur upper stage and no solid rocket boosters.[26]

On July 18, 2011 NASA and ULA announced an agreement on the possibility of certifying the Atlas V to NASA's "human-rating" standards.[27] ULA will provide NASA with data on the Atlas V, while NASA will provide ULA with draft human certification requirements.[27] As of July 2011 Bigelow Aerospace is still considering the use of a human-rated Atlas V for carrying spaceflight participants to its private space station.[28] In 2011, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) picked the Atlas V to be the booster for its still-under-development Dream Chaser crewed spacecraft.[29] The Dream Chaser is designed to be a crewed vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body spaceplane that will be placed into LEO by an Atlas V, and is a proposed CCDev ISS crew transport vehicle.[29]

On August 4, 2011 Boeing announced it would use the Atlas V as the initial launch vehicle for its CST-100 crewed spaceship, intended for both NASA-funded trips to the International Space Station, as well as private trips to the proposed Bigelow Commercial Space Station.[30][31] As of August 2011, a three-flight test program is projected to be completed by 2015, and potentially will certify the Atlas V/CST-100 combination for human-spaceflight operations.[31] The first flight is expected to include an Atlas V rocket integrated with an unpiloted CST-100 capsule, to launch from Cape Canaveral's LC-41 in early 2015 into LEO.[30] The second flight is scheduled to be an in-flight launch abort system demonstration in the middle of that year.[31] The test-flight phase is expected to culminate with a crewed mission at the end of 2015, carrying two Boeing test-pilot astronauts into LEO and returning them safely.[31] In August 2012, George Sowers, ULA's vice president for Human Launch Services, stated that if funded, the first manned flight of the Atlas V could occur by late 2015.[32]

Atlas V HLV[edit]

In 2006, ULA offered an Atlas V HLV (Heavy Lift Vehicle) option that would use three Common Core Booster (CCB) stages strapped together to lift a 29,400 kg (64,816 lb) payload to low Earth orbit.[1] Approximately 95% of the hardware required for the Atlas HLV has already been flown on the Atlas V single core vehicles.[citation needed]

A report, prepared by the RAND Corporation for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2006, stated that Lockheed Martin had decided not to develop an Atlas V heavy-lift vehicle (HLV).[33] The report recommended for the Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office to "determine the necessity of an EELV heavy-lift variant, including development of an Atlas V Heavy", and to "resolve the RD-180 issue, including coproduction, Stockpile, or U.S. development of an RD-180 replacement."[34]

The lifting capability of the Atlas V HLV is roughly equivalent to the Delta IV Heavy.[citation needed] The latter utilizes RS-68 engines developed and produced domestically by Aerojet Rocketdyne.

As of February 2008, the Atlas V HLV configuration was available to customers 30 months from the date of order.[35][dated info]

Atlas Phase 2[edit]

With the merger of Boeing and Lockheed Martin space operations into United Launch Alliance, the Atlas V program gained access to the tooling and processes for 5-meter-diameter stages, used on Delta IV. At 5 meters, a stage can accept dual RD-180 engines.[clarification needed] The proposed heavy-lift vehicle is "Atlas Phase 2" or "PH2".[clarification needed] An Atlas V PH2-Heavy (three 5 m stages in parallel; six RD-180s) along with Shuttle-derived, Ares V and Ares V Lite, was considered as a possible heavy lifter for use in future space missions in the Augustine Report.[36] The Atlas PH2 HLV would launch a payload mass of approximately 70 metric tons into an orbit of 28.5 degree-inclination.[36]


An Atlas V 551 with the New Horizons probe launches from Launch Pad 41 in Cape Canaveral

Each Atlas V booster configuration has a three-digit designation that indicates the features of that configuration. The first digit shows the diameter (in meters) of the payload fairing, and always has a value of '4' or '5'. The second digit indicates the number of solid rocket boosters attached to the base of the rocket, and can range from '0' through '3' with the 4-meter fairing, and '0' through '5' with the 5-meter fairing. The third digit represents the number of engines on the Centaur stage, either '1' or '2'. For example, an Atlas V 552 has a 5-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters, and two Centaur engines, whereas an Atlas V 431 has a 4-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters, and a single Centaur engine.[37] As of 2014, only the single-engine Centaur (SEC) has been used, with the first launch using the dual-engine Centaur upper stage planned for November 2016, when an Atlas V 402 will carry the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser vehicle for its first orbital test flight.[38]

The 4-meter fairing, originally designed for the Atlas II booster, comes in three different lengths, the original 9-meter high version, as well as fairings 10 meters (first flown on the AV-008/Astra 1KR launch) and 11 meters (seen on the AV-004/Inmarsat-4 F1 launch) high. Lockheed Martin had the 5.4-meter (4.57 meters usable) payload fairing for the Atlas V developed and built by RUAG Space (former Oerlikon Space[39][full citation needed]) in Switzerland.[not in citation given] The RUAG fairing uses carbon fiber composite construction, based on flight-proven hardware from the Ariane 5. Three configurations will be manufactured to support the Atlas V. The short (10-meter long) and medium (13-meter long) configurations will be used on the Atlas V 500 series. The 16-meter long configuration will be used on the Atlas V Heavy. The classic fairing covers only the payload, leaving the Centaur stage exposed to open air. The RUAG fairing encloses the Centaur stage as well as the payload.[40]

Versions: List Date: April 11, 2014[41] Mass to LEO numbers are at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.

Version Fairing CCBs SRBs Upper stage Payload to LEO Payload to GTO Launches to date
401 4 m 1 SEC 9,797 kg[42] 4,750 kg[42] 21
402 4 m 1 DEC 12,500 kg[43] 0
411 4 m 1 1 SEC 12,150 kg[42] 5,950 kg[42] 3
412 4 m 1 1 DEC 0
421 4 m 1 2 SEC 14,067 kg[42] 6,890 kg[42] 3
431 4 m 1 3 SEC 15,718 kg[42] 7,700 kg[42] 2
501 5.4 m 1 SEC 8,123 kg[42] 3,775 kg[42] 5
502 5.4 m 1 DEC 0
511 5.4 m 1 1 SEC 10,986 kg[42] 5,250 kg[42] 0
512 5.4 m 1 1 DEC 0
521 5.4 m 1 2 SEC 13,490 kg[42] 6,475 kg[42] 2
522 5.4 m 1 2 DEC 0
531 5.4 m 1 3 SEC 15,575 kg[42] 7,475 kg[42] 3
532 5.4 m 1 3 DEC 0
541 5.4 m 1 4 SEC 17,443 kg[42] 8,290 kg[42] 2
542 5.4 m 1 4 DEC 0
551 5.4 m 1 5 SEC 18,814 kg[42] 8,900 kg[42] 4
552 5.4 m 1 5 DEC 20,520 kg[43] 0
Heavy (HLV/5H1) 5.4 m 3 SEC 0
Heavy (HLV DEC/5H2) 5.4 m 3 DEC 29,400 kg[42] 0

Atlas V launches[edit]

List Date: April 11, 2014

# Date and time(UTC) Type Serial no. Launch site Payload Type of payload Orbit Outcome Remarks
1 August 21, 2002, 22:05 401 AV-001 CCAFS SLC-41 Hot Bird 6 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success [44] First Atlas V launch
2 May 13, 2003, 22:10 401 AV-002 CCAFS SLC-41 Hellas Sat 2 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success [45] First satellite for Greece and Cyprus
3 July 17, 2003, 23:45 521 AV-003 CCAFS SLC-41 Rainbow 1 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success [46] First Atlas V 500 launch
First Atlas V launch with SRBs
4 December 17, 2004, 12:07 521 AV-005 CCAFS SLC-41 AMC 16 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success[47]
5 March 11, 2005, 21:42 431 AV-004 CCAFS SLC-41 Inmarsat 4-F1 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success [48] First Atlas V 400 launch with SRBs
6 August 12, 2005, 11:43 401 AV-007 CCAFS SLC-41 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mars orbiter Hyperbolic to
Success[49] First Atlas V launch for NASA
7 January 19, 2006, 19:00 551 AV-010 CCAFS SLC-41 New Horizons Pluto and Kuiper Belt probe Hyperbolic Success[50] Boeing Star 48B third stage used, first Atlas V launch with a third stage
8 April 20, 2006, 20:27 411 AV-008 CCAFS SLC-41 Astra 1KR Commercial communications satellite GSO Success[51]
9 March 8, 2007, 03:10 401 AV-013 CCAFS SLC-41 Space Test Program-1 6 military research satellites LEO Success[52]
10 June 15, 2007, 15:11 401 AV-009 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-194 (NRO L-30/NOSS-4-3A & B) Two NRO Reconnaissance satellites LEO Partial success (payload reached lower than intended orbit) [53] First Atlas V flight for the National Reconnaissance Office[54]
11 October 11, 2007, 00:22 421 AV-011 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-195 (WGS SV-1) Military communications satellite GTO Success[55] Valve replacement[17]
12 December 10, 2007, 22:05 401 AV-015 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-198 (NRO L-24) NRO reconnaissance satellite Molniya Success[56]
13 March 13, 2008, 10:02 411 AV-006 VAFB SLC-3E USA-200 (NRO L-28) NRO reconnaissance satellite Molniya Success[57] First Atlas V launch from Vandenberg[57]
14 April 14, 2008, 20:12 421 AV-014 CCAFS SLC-41 ICO G1 Commercial communications satellite GTO Success[58]
  • Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services launch
  • Heaviest payload launched by an Atlas until the launch of MUOS-1 in 2012.
  • Largest comsat in the world at time of launch until the launch of TerreStar-1 in 2009.
15 April 4, 2009, 00:31 421 AV-016 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-204 (WGS SV2) Military communications satellite GTO Success[59]
16 June 18, 2009, 21:32 401 AV-020 CCAFS SLC-41 LRO/LCROSS Lunar exploration HEO to Lunar Success[60] First Centaur stage to impact on the Moon.
17 September 8, 2009, 21:35 401 AV-018 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-207 (PAN) Military communications satellite[61] GTO[61] Success[62]
18 October 18, 2009, 16:12 401 AV-017 VAFB SLC-3E USA-210 (DMSP 5D3-F18) Military weather satellite LEO Success[63]
19 November 23, 2009, 06:55 431 AV-024 CCAFS SLC-41 Intelsat 14 Commercial communications satellite GTO Success[64] LMCLS launch
20 February 11, 2010, 15:23 401 AV-021 CCAFS SLC-41 SDO Solar Observatory GTO Success[65]
21 April 22, 2010, 23:52 501 AV-012 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-212 (X-37B OTV-1) Military orbital test vehicle LEO Success[66] A piece of the external fairing did not break up on impact, but washed up on Hilton Head Island.[67]
22 August 14, 2010, 11:07 531 AV-019 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-214 (AEHF-1) Military communications satellite GTO Success[68]
23 September 21, 2010, 04:03 501 AV-025 VAFB SLC-3E USA-215 (NRO L-41) NRO reconnaissance satellite LEO Success[69]
24 March 5, 2011, 22:46 501 AV-026 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-226 (X-37B OTV-2) Military orbital test vehicle LEO Success[70]
25 April 15, 2011, 04:24 411 AV-027 VAFB SLC-3E USA-229 (NRO L-34) NRO reconnaissance satellite LEO Success[71]
26 May 7, 2011, 18:10 401 AV-022 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-230 (SBIRS-GEO-1) Missile Warning satellite GTO Success[72]
27 August 5, 2011, 16:25 551 AV-029 CCAFS SLC-41 Juno Jupiter orbiter Hyperbolic to
28 November 26, 2011, 15:02 541 AV-028 CCAFS SLC-41 Mars Science Laboratory Mars rover Hyperbolic
(Mars landing)
Success[74] First launch of the 541 configuation[75]
Centaur entered orbit around the sun[76]
29 February 24, 2012, 22:15 551 AV-030 CCAFS SLC-41 MUOS-1 Military communications satellite GTO Success[15]
  • 200th Centaur launch[77]
  • Heaviest payload launched by an Atlas until launch of MUOS-2
30 May 4, 2012, 18:42 531 AV-031 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-235 (AEHF-2) Military communications satellite GTO Success[78]
31 June 20, 2012, 12:28 401 AV-023 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-236 (NROL-38) NRO reconnaissance satellite GEO Success[79] 50th EELV launch
32 August 30, 2012, 08:05 401 AV-032 CCAFS SLC-41 Van Allen Probes (RBSP) Van Allen Belts exploration MEO Success[80]
33 September 13, 2012, 21:39 401 AV-033 VAFB SLC-3E USA-238 (NROL-36) NRO reconnaissance satellites LEO Success[81]
34 December 11, 2012, 18:03 501 AV-034 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-240 (X-37B OTV-3) Military orbital test vehicle LEO Success[82]
35 January 31, 2013, 01:48 401 AV-036 CCAFS SLC-41 TDRS-11 (TDRS-K) Data relay satellite GTO Success[83]
36 February 11, 2013, 18:02 401 AV-035 VAFB SLC-3E Landsat 8 Earth Observation satellite LEO Success[84] First West Coast Atlas V Launch for NASA
37 March 19, 2013, 21:21 401 AV-037 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-241 (SBIRS-GEO 2) Missile Warning satellite GTO Success[85]
38 May 15, 2013, 21:38 401 AV-039 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-242 (GPS IIF-4) Navigation satellite MEO Success[86] *First GPS satellite launched by an Atlas V
  • Longest Atlas V mission to date
39 July 19, 2013, 13:00 551 AV-040 CCAFS SLC-41 MUOS-2 Military Communications satellite GTO Success[87] Heaviest payload launched by an Atlas to date[citation needed]
40 September 18, 2013, 08:10 531 AV-041 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-246 (AEHF-3) Military communications satellite GTO Success[88]
41 November 18, 2013, 18:28 401 AV-038 CCAFS SLC-41 MAVEN Mars orbiter Hyperbolic to
42 December 6, 2013, 07:14 501 AV-042 VAFB SLC-3E USA-247 (NROL-39) NRO reconnaissance satellite LEO Success[90]
43 January 24, 2014, 02:33 401 AV-043 CCAFS SLC-41 TDRS-12 (TDRS-L) Data relay satellite GTO Success[91]
44 April 3, 2014, 14:46 401 AV-044 VAFB SLC-3E USA-249 (DMSP-5D3 F19) Military weather satellite LEO Success[92] 50th RD-180 launch
45 April 10, 2014, 17:45 541 AV-045 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-250 (NROL-67) NRO reconnaissance satellite Success[93]
For planned launches, see:
List of Atlas launches (2010–2019)

Photo gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Comparable rockets: Delta IVProtonAriane 5Chang Zheng 5AngaraFalcon 9H-IIAH-IIBZenit


  1. ^ a b c United Launch Alliance. "Atlas V Product Card". 
  2. ^ Gunter's Space Page – Atlas V (401). Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  3. ^ "Atlas V Launch Services User’s Guide". Centennial, CO: United Launch Alliance. March 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  4. ^ Launch Vehicles. Lockheed Martin (2002-08-21). Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  5. ^ a b Morring, Frank, Jr. (June 22, 2007). "NRO Shortfall May Delay Upcoming ULA Missions". Aviation Week. 
  6. ^ "NRO satellite successfully launched aboard Atlas V" (Press release). NRO. June 15, 2007. 
  7. ^ "NROL-30 launch update" (Press release). NRO. June 18, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Atlas V Launch Services User’s Guide". United Launch Alliance. March 2010. p. 1-5 to 1–7. 
  9. ^ "Lockheed Martin Ready For Launch Of Intelsat 14 Spacecraft". Lockheed Martin. November 11, 2009. 
  10. ^ "Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle". March 2009. 
  11. ^ Bonnie Birckenstaedt, Bernard F. Kutter, Frank Zegler (2006). "Centaur Application to Robotic and Crewed Lunar Lander Evolution". American Institute of Physics. p. 2. 
  12. ^ Honeywell awarded $52 million Atlas V contract – Military & Aerospace Electronics. (2001-05-01). Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  13. ^ Atlas V Launch Services User's Guide. United Launch Alliance. March 2010
  14. ^ Honeywell Provides Guidance System For Atlas V Rocket. Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  15. ^ a b "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket, with 200th Centaur, Successfully Launches Mobile User Objective System-1 Mission". United Launch Alliance. February 24, 2012. 
  16. ^ "Air Force Issues Second Update Regarding Atlas V Centaur Upper Stage Anomaly Review". U.S. Air Force. 2 July 2007. 
  17. ^ a b Peterson, Patrick (September 2, 2007). "Faulty valve pushes back Atlas 5 launch". Florida Today. 
  18. ^ "GX Launch Vehicle". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2009-05-07. [dead link]
  19. ^ "Japan scraps GX rocket development project". iStockAnalyst. 2009-12-16. Retrieved 2009-12-16. 
  20. ^ "CONTRACT RELEASE : C12-016: NASA Awards Launch Contract For Goes-R And Goes-S Missions". NASA. Retrieved 2013-04-21. 
  21. ^ Stephen Clark (18 March 2014). "Atlas 5 rocket selected for Solar Orbiter launch". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 19 March 2014. 
  22. ^ Stephen Clark (24 November 2013). "Sizing up America's place in the global launch industry". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 25 November 2013. 
  23. ^ Gaskill, Braddock (2007-01-31). "Human Rated Atlas V for Bigelow Space Station details emerge". 
  24. ^ "NASA Selects United Launch Alliance for Commercial Crew Development Program". 2010-02-02. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  25. ^ "CCDev awardees one year later: where are they now?". NewSpace Journal. 2011-02-13. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  26. ^ a b Clark, Stephen (2011-02-13). "Safety system tested for Atlas and Delta rockets". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2011-02-14. 
  27. ^ a b "NASA Begins Commercial Partnership With United Launch Alliance". NASA. 2011-07-18. 
  28. ^ Boyle, Alan (2011-07-18). "Rocket venture to work with NASA". MSNBC Cosmic Log. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  29. ^ a b Kelly, John (2011-08-06). "Atlas V rising to the occasion". Florida Today (Melbourne, Florida). Archived from the original on 2011-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  30. ^ a b "Boeing selects Atlas V Rocket for Initial Commercial Crew Launches" (Press release). Houston: Boeing. 2011-08-04. Archived from the original on 2011-08-06. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  31. ^ a b c d Malik, Tariq (2011-08-04). "Boeing Needs Space Pilots for Spaceship & Rocket Test Flights". Archived from the original on 2011-08-08. Retrieved 2011-08-07. 
  32. ^ Bergin, Chris (28 August 2012). "ULA to use their experience to build a culture of Atlas V crew safety". NASASpaceFlight (not associated with NASA). Retrieved 2012-08-29. 
  33. ^ National Security Space Launch Report (PDF). RAND Corporation. 2006. p. 29. 
  34. ^ National Security Space Launch Report (PDF). RAND Corporation. 2006. p. xxi. 
  35. ^ Atlas V EELV – Lockheed-Martin Retrieved on 2008-02-08. Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  36. ^ a b HSF Final Report: Seeking a Human Spaceflight Program Worthy of a Great Nation, October 2009, Review of U.S. Human Spaceflight Plans Committee, graphic on p. 64, retrieved 2011-02-07.
  37. ^ "Atlas V" (pdf). ULA. 2010. pp. 1–4. 
  38. ^ "Sierra Nevada books first launch for 'space SUV'". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 28 January 2014. 
  39. ^ Space Home. RUAG. Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  40. ^ "Gunter's Space Page – Atlas-5 (Atlas-V)". Retrieved 2011-08-05. 
  41. ^ "Jonathan's Space Report Launch Vehicle Database – Atlas V". Jonathan McDowell. 2010-10-28. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  42. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Atlas V Mission Planner's Guide – March 2010. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  43. ^ a b "2010 U.S. Commercial Space Transportation Developments and Concepts: Vehicles, Technologies, and Spaceports". Federal Aviation Administration. January 2010. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  44. ^ "Inaugural Atlas V Scores Success for ILS, Lockheed Martin". International Launch Services. August 21, 2002. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  45. ^ "ILS Launches Hellas-Sat on Atlas V". International Launch Services. May 13, 2003. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  46. ^ "ILS Launches Rainbow 1 Satellite". International Launch Services. July 17, 2003. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  47. ^ "ILS Launches AMC-16; Wraps Up Year With 10 Mission Successes". International Launch Services. December 17, 2004. 
  48. ^ "ILS Atlas V Vehicle Lifts Massive Satellite For Inmarsat". International Launch Services. March 11, 2005. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  49. ^ "NASA's Multipurpose Mars Mission Successfully Launched". NASA. 2005-08-12. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  50. ^ "NASA's Pluto Mission Launched Toward New Horizons". NASA. 2006-01-19. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  51. ^ "ILS Launches ASTRA 1KR Satellite". International Launch Services. April 20, 2006. 
  52. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches First USAF Atlas V". United Launch Alliance. March 8, 2007. 
  53. ^ "Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. August 16, 2007. Retrieved 2013-02-28. 
  54. ^ "NRO satellite successfully launched aboard Atlas V". NRO. June 15, 2007. Retrieved 2013-04-18. 
  55. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches AF WGS Satellite". United Launch Alliance. October 10, 2007. 
  56. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches NRO Satellite". United Launch Alliance. December 10, 2007. 
  57. ^ a b "United Launch Alliance Inaugural Atlas V West Coast Launch a Success". United Launch Alliance. March 13, 2008. 
  58. ^ "United Launch Alliance Launches Heaviest Commercial Satellite for Atlas V". United Launch Alliance. April 14, 2008. 
  59. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Successfully Launches AF WGS-2 Satellite". United Launch Alliance. April 3, 2009. 
  60. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Moon Mission for NASA". United Launch Alliance. June 18, 2009. 
  61. ^ a b "Clues about mystery payload emerge soon after launch". Spaceflight Now. September 8, 2009. 
  62. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches PAN Satellite". United Launch Alliance. September 8, 2009. 
  63. ^ "United Launch Alliance 600th Atlas Mission Successfully Launches DMSP F18". United Launch Alliance. October 18, 2009. 
  64. ^ "United Launch Alliance Launches 4th 2009 Commercial Mission: Intelsat 14". United Launch Alliance. November 23, 2009. 
  65. ^ "United Launch Alliance Launches Solar Observatory Mission for NASA". United Launch Alliance. February 11, 2010. 
  66. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches OTV Mission". United Launch Alliance. April 22, 2010. 
  67. ^ Experts weigh in on rocket debris found on Hilton Head. Retrieved on 2011-11-19.
  68. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches First AEHF Mission". United Launch Alliance. August 14, 2010. 
  69. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches National Defense Mission". United Launch Alliance. September 20, 2010. 
  70. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second OTV Mission". United Launch Alliance. March 5, 2011. 
  71. ^ "ULA Successfully Launches Fifth NRO Mission in Seven Months". United Launch Alliance. April 14, 2011. 
  72. ^ "United Launch Alliance Marks 50th Successful Launch by delivering the Space-Based Infrared System (SBIRS) Satellite to orbit for the U.S. Air Force". United Launch Alliance. May 7, 2011. 
  73. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Juno Spacecraft on Five-Year Journey to study Jupiter". United Launch Alliance. August 5, 2011. 
  74. ^ Harwood, William (2011-11-26). "Mars Science Laboratory begins cruise to red planet". Spaceflight Now Inc. Retrieved 2011-12-04. 
  75. ^ "Challenge of Getting to Mars". Chapter 4: Launching Curiosity. JPL. 
  76. ^ Rik Myslewski (2011-11-26). "US Martian nuke-truck launches without a hitch, but...". 
  77. ^ Justin Ray (February 9, 2012). "Landmark launch in rocketry: Centaur set for Flight 200". Spaceflight Now. 
  78. ^ :::: United Launch Alliance, LLC ::::
  79. ^ Spaceflight Now | Atlas Launch Report | Mission Status Center
  80. ^ :::: United Launch Alliance, LLC ::::
  81. ^ Graham, William (13 September 2012). "ULA Atlas V finally launches with NROL-36". (Not affiliated with NASA). Retrieved 2012-09-14. 
  82. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Third X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle for the Air Force". United Launch Alliance. December 11, 2012. 
  83. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite". United Launch Alliance. January 31, 2013. 
  84. ^ Justin Ray. "Atlas 5 rocket launch continues legacy of Landsat". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 2013-02-11. 
  85. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second Space-Based Infrared System SBIRS Satellite to Orbit for the U.S. Air Force". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-03-20. 
  86. ^ "ULA Launches 70th Successful Mission in 77 Months with the Launch of the GPS IIF-4 Satellite for the Air Force". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 
  87. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Successfully Launches Mobile User Objective System-2 Mission for U.S. Navy". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-07-19. 
  88. ^ "United Launch Alliance Marks 75th Successful Launch by Delivering the Advanced Extremely High Frequency-3 Satellite to Orbit for the U.S. Air Force". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-09-18. 
  89. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Successfully Launches MAVEN mission on Journey to the Red Planet". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-11-19. 
  90. ^ "United Launch Alliance Atlas V Rocket Successfully Launches Payload for the National Reconnaissance Office". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  91. ^ "United Launch Alliance successfully launches NASA's Tracking and Data Relay Satellite payload". United Launch Alliance. January 23, 2014. 
  92. ^ "United Launch Alliance Marks 80th Successful Launch by Delivering Air Force’s Weather Satellite to Orbit". United Launch Alliance. April 3, 2014. 
  93. ^ "United Launch Alliance Successfully Launches Second Mision in Just Seven Days". United Launch Alliance. Retrieved 2014-04-11. 

External links[edit]