Atlas 5 rocket assembled for NASA's RBSP launchBY JUSTIN RAY
Posted: July 26, 2012
Preparing for the next rocket launch from Cape Canaveral, crews have completed building up the Atlas 5 rocket that will carry a pair of NASA science satellites into space August 23.
At the Vertical Integration Facility at Complex 41, the United Launch Alliance team erected the bronze first stage on July 13. The white-insulated Centaur upper stage was set in place on July 16. Assembly occurred aboard the mobile platform that will be wheeled to the pad a couple of days before liftoff.
It is the most-basic 401 version of the Atlas 5, possessing a four-meter-wide payload shroud, no strap-on solid boosters and a single-engine Centaur. The Radiation Belt Storm Probes will be encapsulated within the rocket's nose cone at their processing facility in the coming days before the cargo is trucked to the rocket hangar for mating next month.
Here is a photo gallery showing the stacking operations.
Space video for your computer, iPod or big screen TV