Atlas 5: launch report
Next-generation Atlas 5 sailed 'perfect' first voyage
After a night of partying and jubilant celebrations, Lockheed Martin officials said Thursday that the first Atlas 5 rocket gave its paying cargo "a marvelous ride" into space following a remarkable on-time takeoff for the new launcher.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 22]
Atlas 5
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Video collection from maiden launch of Atlas 5
When the inaugural Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket blasted off recently, dozens of video cameras were used to capture every conceivable view as the booster climbed from its Cape Canaveral launch pad. We have picked some of the best pad camera views and present them to our Spaceflight Now Plus subscribers.
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Atlas 5
Mission success!
Riding a tongue of golden flame from its Russian-made engine, Lockheed Martin's first Atlas 5 booster sailed into space Wednesday to successfully open a new chapter for America's rocket industry. See the status center for our play-by-play call of the countdown and launch.
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
   LAUNCH PHOTO GALLERY
Atlas 5
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Atlas 5 journeys to the pad
Riding atop the 1.4-million pound mobile launching platform, Lockheed Martin's next-generation Atlas 5 was rolled from its assembly building to the pad Tuesday at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Complex 41. The rocket remains scheduled to set sail on its maiden voyage Wednesday.
   PHOTO GALLERY OF TUESDAY'S ROLLOUT
Atlas 5
Weather forecasters have new challenges with Atlas 5
As Lockheed Martin prepares to wheel its debut Atlas 5 rocket from the protective confines of the vehicle assembly building to the open-air launch pad on Tuesday morning, the Cape Canaveral weather team has the challenging job of forecasting the conditions the vehicle will face during its day-and-a-half wait before blastoff.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 19]
Atlas 5
Hot Bird 6 to join Eutelsat's entertainment fleet
The first Atlas 5 rocket will launch the Hot Bird 6 satellite into space for Paris-based Eutelsat. The craft is designed to relay digital TV and radio programming to homes across Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Read Eutelsat's fact sheet on Hot Bird 6:
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 17]
Hot Bird 6
Supersynchronous transfer orbit is target for Atlas 5
It won't be the fastest Atlas rocket at liftoff but next week's inaugural Atlas 5 will be the largest and mightiest ever flown by Lockheed Martin. Liftoff remains on schedule for Wednesday at 6:05 p.m. EDT from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Read our preview of the events to occur during the launch:
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 16]
Atlas 5
Current Atlas rocket models not going away for awhile
The Atlas 5 rocket is the future but its siblings -- the Atlas 2 and 3 vehicles -- won't be riding off into the sunset quite yet. With a few more years of heritage Atlas rockets launching from Cape Canaveral's Complex 36, Lockheed Martin has opted to combine those operations with Atlas 5 at Complex 41, forming one team of over 250 workers.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 15]
Atlas 2AS
Atlas 5 rocket dubbed 'dial-a-rocket' for its flexibility
When the first Atlas 5 rocket vaults skyward next Wednesday, it will represent the pinnacle of evolution for Lockheed Martin's family of expendable launchers.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 14]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 changes the way rockets are prepared to fly
A launch complex that has been around for 40 years is now one of the most modern on the planet after undergoing an overhaul to become the home of Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 for the new millennium.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 13]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 rocket takes center stage for crucial debut
A new era in American space rocketry dawns next week as the Atlas 5 soars on its maiden voyage, carrying with it Lockheed Martin's future in the commercial satellite launch industry and the U.S. military's hopes for reliable access to the final frontier.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 12]
Atlas 5
Satellite cargo and Atlas 5 rocket joined together
The European Hot Bird 6 TV broadcasting satellite was hauled from a processing facility to Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 vehicle assembly building early Friday. Already enclosed within the rocket's nose cone, the spacecraft was then hoisted atop the Atlas 5 and attached to the Centaur upper stage. Launch remains set for August 21.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 9]
Atlas 5
Major Atlas 5 launch readiness review completed
As Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket was passing a comprehensive engineering review this week, spacecraft teams were getting set to resume final pre-flight preparations on the French-built Hot Bird 6 satellite to be carried into space during the launcher's maiden voyage on August 21.
   FULL STORY [Posted: August 1]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 launch delayed from Aug. 12 by satellite issue
Launch of the first Atlas 5 rocket is being postponed after technicians ran into delays readying the mission's commercial satellite cargo for flight. A new launch date has not been set, but officials remain optimistic liftoff will occur sometime in August.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 26]
   MISSION STATUS CENTER
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 rocket passes final countdown demonstration
Lockheed Martin's next-generation Atlas 5 rocket cleared its last major launch pad test this week, putting the vehicle on course to begin final preparations for blastoff on the much-anticipated inaugural voyage August 12.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 17]
   PHOTO GALLERY OF WEDNESDAY'S ROLLBACK
Atlas 5
Formal launch date booked for first Atlas 5 rocket
The debut launch of Lockheed Martin's next-generation Atlas 5 rocket has been officially rescheduled for August 12 following the successful completion of some additional umbilical retraction tests.
   FULL STORY [Posted: July 7]
Atlas 5
Tests delay debut of Atlas 5 rocket by a week
The inaugural launch of Lockheed Martin's Atlas 5 rocket has been pushed back one week -- to no earlier than August 6 -- so engineers can re-run a series of tests.
   FULL STORY [Posted: June 27]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 rocket put through full countdown rehearsal
Lockheed Martin's new Atlas 5 rocket has passed another key milestone on the road to its maiden voyage this July with the completion of a full launch day simulation.
   FULL STORY [Posted: May 19]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 rocket passes crucial first launch pad test
The Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket is one step closer to its summertime inaugural launch following the successful countdown rehearsal and fueling tests conducted at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 last week.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 17]
Atlas 5
Atlas 5 countdown test reset for Wednesday
Technical issues on Tuesday forced Lockheed Martin officials to postpone a countdown dress rehearsal for its new Atlas 5 rocket until Wednesday.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 12]
Atlas 5
Inaugural Atlas 5 rocket moved to the launch pad
Lockheed Martin's first Atlas 5 rocket was rolled out to its Cape Canaveral launch pad Monday for fueling tests and a crucial countdown dress rehearsal.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 11]
Atlas 5
Maiden Atlas 5 rocket to undergo crucial testing
The first Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 rocket, set for liftoff May 9, will be moved from its checkout facility to the new assembly building at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41 next week to be hoisted atop a mobile launching platform and readied for a series of demonstration tests over the next couple of months.
   FULL STORY [Posted: January 29]
Atlas 5
RD-180 engine successfully completes testing program
Lockheed Martin has completed the test program of the RD-180 engine for the company's new Atlas 5 rockets. Completion of these tests firmly establishes that the RD-180's design and performance will meet all Atlas 5 mission requirements for commercial and government satellite customers.
   FULL STORY [Posted: January 29]
RD-180
Lockheed Martin building Atlas 5 rocket launch site
Amid an outpouring of fanfare and celebration, the ceremonial last steel beam was hoisted atop Lockheed Martin's new Atlas 5 rocket assembly building on Friday at Cape Canaveral.
   FULL STORY [Posted: March 6, 2000]
SLC 41
Flight data file
Vehicle: Atlas 5 (AV-001)
Payload: Hot Bird 6
Launch date: August 21, 2002
Launch window: 6:05-7:34 p.m. EDT (2205-2334 GMT)
Launch site: Complex 41, Cape Canaveral AFS, Florida
Satellite broadcast: Galaxy 3, Transponder 1, C-band

Pre-launch briefing
Atlas 5 overview - Our story looking at a new era in American space rocketry.

Launch timeline - A preview of the events to occur during the first Atlas 5 launch.

The rocket - Technical story of the new Atlas 5 rocket family.

Complex 41 - A tour of the Atlas 5 launch site and description of the "clean pad" concept.

Dual ops - Current Atlas rocket models not going away for awhile.

Hot Bird 6 - Learn more about the satellite cargo for the first Atlas 5 launch.

The weather - A look at the challenges of forecasting the weather for Atlas 5.

Atlas index - A directory of our previous Atlas launch coverage.


Now showing
For Spaceflight Now+Plus service (subscribers only):


As the Atlas 5 rocket was preparing to roll off its launch pad for return to the Vertical Integration Facility to conclude the first countdown dress rehearsal, Spaceflight Now was there to capture this 360-degree panorama.
  VIEW (QuickTime file)


With the Atlas 5 rocket back inside the Vertical Integration Facility about 1,800 feet away, Spaceflight Now captured this 360-degree panorama from the base of the launch pad at Cape Canaveral's Complex 41.
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Preview a Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 400-series rocket launch with this animation package of a 401 configuration vehicle lofting a communications satellite into geosynchronous transfer orbit.
  QuickTime or RealVideo

This animation shows the launch of a Lockheed Martin Atlas 5 500-series rocket, which features a larger payload fairing and five solid rocket boosters.
  QuickTime or RealVideo

The first Atlas 5 rocket is unveiled at Lockheed Martin's Denver facility in this ceremony with emotion-stirring music.
  QuickTime or RealVideo

Watch 4-min, 20-sec movie of the Atlas 5 rocket rolling from the Vertical Integration Building to the open-air launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Complex 41.
  QuickTime or RealVideo


See full listing of video clips.
Atlas 5 Info
The Atlas family - Comparison of the Atlas 2, 3 and 5 rockets.

Atlas 5 400 description - A look at the pieces that make up the 400-series rocket.

Atlas 5 500 description - A look at the pieces that make up the 500-series rocket.

Typical Atlas 5 400-series launch - Sample look at launch sequence for Atlas 5 401 vehicle configuration.

Typical Atlas 5 500-series launch - Sample look at launch sequence for Atlas 5 551 vehicle configuration.

Space Launch Complex 41 - Overview of the Atlas 5 launch site.


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