Atlas V

Atlas V

Overview
Atlas V is an active expendable launch system
Expendable launch system
An expendable launch system is a launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle to carry a payload into space. The vehicles used in expendable launch systems are designed to be used only once , and their components are not recovered for re-use after launch...

 in the Atlas
Atlas (rocket family)
Atlas is a family of U.S. space launch vehicles. The original Atlas missile was designed in the late 1950s and produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics, to be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile...

 rocket family. Atlas V was formerly operated by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

, and is now operated by the Lockheed Martin-Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 joint venture United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S...

. Each Atlas V rocket
Rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 uses a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene
Kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

 and liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen — abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries — is one of the physical forms of elemental oxygen.-Physical properties:...

 to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

 and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur
Centaur (rocket stage)
Centaur is a rocket stage designed for use as the upper stage of space launch vehicles. Centaur boosts its satellite payload to geosynchronous orbit or, in the case of an interplanetary space probe, to or near to escape velocity...

 upper stage. The RD-180 engines are provided by RD AMROSS
RD AMROSS
RD AMROSS, a limited liability company, is a U.S. joint venture between Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of West Palm Beach, Florida and NPO Energomash of Khimki, Russia based in Jupiter, Florida....

 and the RL10 engines by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United States company that designs and produces rocket engines that use liquid propellants. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, headquartered in Canoga Park, California, is a division of Pratt & Whitney, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation...

.
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Encyclopedia
Atlas V is an active expendable launch system
Expendable launch system
An expendable launch system is a launch system that uses an expendable launch vehicle to carry a payload into space. The vehicles used in expendable launch systems are designed to be used only once , and their components are not recovered for re-use after launch...

 in the Atlas
Atlas (rocket family)
Atlas is a family of U.S. space launch vehicles. The original Atlas missile was designed in the late 1950s and produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics, to be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile...

 rocket family. Atlas V was formerly operated by Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

, and is now operated by the Lockheed Martin-Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 joint venture United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S...

. Each Atlas V rocket
Rocket
A rocket is a missile, spacecraft, aircraft or other vehicle which obtains thrust from a rocket engine. In all rockets, the exhaust is formed entirely from propellants carried within the rocket before use. Rocket engines work by action and reaction...

 uses a Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene
Kerosene
Kerosene, sometimes spelled kerosine in scientific and industrial usage, also known as paraffin or paraffin oil in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and South Africa, is a combustible hydrocarbon liquid. The name is derived from Greek keros...

 and liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen
Liquid oxygen — abbreviated LOx, LOX or Lox in the aerospace, submarine and gas industries — is one of the physical forms of elemental oxygen.-Physical properties:...

 to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen
Liquid hydrogen is the liquid state of the element hydrogen. Hydrogen is found naturally in the molecular H2 form.To exist as a liquid, H2 must be pressurized above and cooled below hydrogen's Critical point. However, for hydrogen to be in a full liquid state without boiling off, it needs to be...

 and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur
Centaur (rocket stage)
Centaur is a rocket stage designed for use as the upper stage of space launch vehicles. Centaur boosts its satellite payload to geosynchronous orbit or, in the case of an interplanetary space probe, to or near to escape velocity...

 upper stage. The RD-180 engines are provided by RD AMROSS
RD AMROSS
RD AMROSS, a limited liability company, is a U.S. joint venture between Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne of West Palm Beach, Florida and NPO Energomash of Khimki, Russia based in Jupiter, Florida....

 and the RL10 engines by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne is a United States company that designs and produces rocket engines that use liquid propellants. Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, headquartered in Canoga Park, California, is a division of Pratt & Whitney, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation...

. Some configurations also use strap-on booster rocket
Booster rocket
A booster rocket is either the first stage of a multi-stage launch vehicle, or else a strap-on rocket used to augment the core launch vehicle's takeoff thrust and payload capability. Boosters are generally necessary to launch spacecraft into Earth orbit or beyond...

s made by Aerojet
Aerojet
Aerojet is an American rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer based primarily in Rancho Cordova, California with divisions in Redmond, Washington, Orange, Gainesville and Camden, Arkansas. Aerojet is owned by GenCorp. They are the only US propulsion company that provides both solid rocket...

. The payload fairing
Payload fairing
Payload fairing is one of the main components of a launch vehicle. The fairing protects the payload during the ascent against the impact of the atmosphere . More recently, an additional function is to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments.Outside the atmosphere the fairing is...

s, which can be 4 or 5 meters in diameter and three lengths, are made by RUAG Space. The rocket is assembled in Decatur, Alabama
Decatur, Alabama
Decatur is a city in Limestone and Morgan Counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. The city, affectionately known as "The River City", is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County...

; Harlingen, Texas
Harlingen, Texas
Harlingen is a city in Cameron County in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley of south Texas, United States, about from the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. The city covers more than , and is the second largest city in Cameron County and the sixth largest in the Rio Grande Valley...

; San Diego, California
San Diego, California
San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

; and at United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S...

's headquarters near Denver, Colorado
Denver, Colorado
The City and County of Denver is the capital and the most populous city of the U.S. state of Colorado. Denver is a consolidated city-county, located in the South Platte River Valley on the western edge of the High Plains just east of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains...

.

In its more than two 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 early, leaving the payload—a pair of ocean surveillance satellites—in a lower than intended orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

. However, the customer, the National Reconnaissance Office
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

, categorized the mission as a success.

History


The Atlas V is the newest member of the Atlas
Atlas (rocket family)
Atlas is a family of U.S. space launch vehicles. The original Atlas missile was designed in the late 1950s and produced by the Convair Division of General Dynamics, to be used as an intercontinental ballistic missile...

 family. Compared to the Atlas III
Atlas III
The Lockheed Martin Atlas III was an American orbital launch vehicle, used between 2000 and 2005. It was the first member of the Atlas family since the Atlas A to feature a "normal" staging method, compared to the previous Atlas family members, which were equipped with jettisonable engines on the...

 vehicle, there are numerous changes. Compared to the Atlas II
Atlas II
Atlas II was a member of the Atlas family of launch vehicles, which evolved from the successful Atlas missile program of the 1950s. Atlas II was the last Atlas to use a three engine, "stage-and-a-half" design: two of its three engines were jettisoned during ascent, but its fuel tanks and other...

, 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.
  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.
  3. First-stage tanks no longer use stainless steel monocoque
    Monocoque
    Monocoque is a construction technique that supports structural load by using an object's external skin, as opposed to using an internal frame or truss that is then covered with a non-load-bearing skin or coachwork...

     "balloon" construction. The tanks are isogrid aluminum and are stable when unpressurized.
  4. Use of aluminum, with a higher thermal conductivity than stainless steel, requires insulation
    Thermal insulation
    Thermal insulation is the reduction of the effects of the various processes of heat transfer between objects in thermal contact or in range of radiative influence. Heat transfer is the transfer of thermal energy between objects of differing temperature...

     for the liquid oxygen. The tanks are covered in a polyurethane
    Polyurethane
    A polyurethane is any polymer composed of a chain of organic units joined by carbamate links. Polyurethane polymers are formed through step-growth polymerization, by reacting a monomer with another monomer in the presence of a catalyst.Polyurethanes are...

    -based layer.
  5. Accommodation points for parallel stages, both smaller solids and identical liquids, are built into first-stage structures.


The Atlas V was developed by Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services as part of the US Air Force Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle
EELV
Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle is an expendable launch system program of the United States Air Force , intended to assure access to space for Department of Defense and other United States government payloads...

 (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
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Located on Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida, CCAFS is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range with four launch pads...

 and Space Launch Complex 3-E
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 3
Space Launch Complex 3 is a launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base that has been used by Atlas and Thor rockets. It was built in the early 1960s and consists of two pads, SLC-3E and SLC-3W . The East-West coastline at Vandenberg allows SLC-3 to launch over-ocean polar trajectories that avoid...

 at Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northwest of Lompoc, California. It is under the jurisdiction of the 30th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command ....

. Lockheed Martin Commercial Launch Services continues to market the Atlas V to commercial customers worldwide.

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
Common Core Booster
A modular rocket is a type of multistage rocket which features components that can be interchanged for specific mission requirements. Several such rockets use similar concepts such as unified modules to minimize expenses on manufacturing, transportation and for optimization of support...

 (CCB) with up to five Aerojet
Aerojet
Aerojet is an American rocket and missile propulsion manufacturer based primarily in Rancho Cordova, California with divisions in Redmond, Washington, Orange, Gainesville and Camden, Arkansas. Aerojet is owned by GenCorp. They are the only US propulsion company that provides both solid rocket...

 made strap-on solid rocket booster
Solid rocket booster
Solid rocket boosters or Solid Rocket Motors, SRM, are used to provide thrust in spacecraft launches from the launchpad up to burnout of the SRBs. Many launch vehicles include SRBs, including the Ariane 5, Atlas V , and the NASA Space Shuttle...

s. 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
RP-1
RP-1 is a highly refined form of kerosene outwardly similar to jet fuel, used as a rocket fuel. Although having a lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen , RP-1 is cheaper, can be stored at room temperature, is far less of an explosive hazard and is far denser...

 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.

The Centaur upper stage uses a pressure stabilized propellant tank design and cryogenic propellants
Cryogenic fuel
Cryogenic fuels are fuels that require storage at extremely low temperatures in order to maintain them in a liquid state. Cryogenic fuels most often constitute liquefied gases such as liquid hydrogen....

. The Centaur stage for Atlas V is stretched 5.5 ft (1.68 m) and is powered by either one or two Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney
Pratt & Whitney is a U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer with global service operations. It is a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation . Pratt & Whitney's aircraft engines are widely used in both civil aviation and military aviation. Its headquarters are in East Hartford, Connecticut, USA...

 RL10A-4-2 engines, each engine developing a thrust of 99.2 kN (22,300 lbf). Operational and reliability upgrades are enabled with the RL10A-4-2 engine configuration. The inertial navigation unit (INU) located on the Centaur provides guidance and navigation for both 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
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

, followed by a coast period and then insertion into GTO
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

. A subsequent third burn following a multi-hour coast can permit direct injection of payloads into geostationary orbit. , 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.

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
Fault-tolerant design
In engineering, fault-tolerant design is a design that enables a system to continue operation, possibly at a reduced level , rather than failing completely, when some part of the system fails...

 Inertial Navigation Unit
Inertial navigation system
An inertial navigation system is a navigation aid that uses a computer, motion sensors and rotation sensors to continuously calculate via dead reckoning the position, orientation, and velocity of a moving object without the need for external references...

 (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. The upgraded FTINU first flew in 2005, and in 2010 a follow-on order for more FTINU units was awarded.

On April 14, 2008, Atlas V lifted its heaviest payload to date into orbit—a 14625 pounds (6,633.8 kg) telecommunications satellite built by Space Systems/Loral
Space Systems/Loral
Space Systems/Loral , of Palo Alto, California, is the wholly owned manufacturing subsidiary of Loral Space & Communications. It was acquired in 1990 for $715 million by Loral Corp. from Ford Motor Company as the Space Systems Division of Ford Aerospace...

.

2007 valve anomaly


The only anomalous event in the use of the Atlas V launch system occurred 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
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

 L-30 ocean surveillance satellites–in a lower-than-intended orbit. The cause of the anomaly was traced to a leaky valve. Replacing the valve led to a delay in the next Atlas V launch.

GX rocket


The Atlas V Common Core Booster was to have been used as the first stage of the joint US-Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

ese GX rocket, which was scheduled to make its maiden flight in 2012. GX launches would have been from the Atlas V launch complex at Vandenberg AFB, SLC-3E.

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

Crewed Atlas V



As early as 2006, ULA's predecessor company Lockheed Martin was looking at a human-rated
Human-rating certification
Human-rated or man-rated are terms used to describe the certification of a spacecraft, launch vehicleor airplaneas worthy of transporting humans. NASA and the U.S. GAO now uses "Human-rating" when describing requirements for these systems...

 version of the Atlas V. An agreement between Lockheed and Bigelow Aerospace
Bigelow Aerospace
Bigelow Aerospace is a North Las Vegas, Nevada space technology startup company that is pioneering work on expandable space station modules. Bigelow Aerospace was founded by Robert Bigelow in 1998...

 that year was reported that could lead to commercial private
Private spaceflight
Private spaceflight is flight above Earth altitude conducted by and paid for by an entity other than a government. In the early decades of the Space Age, the government space agencies of the Soviet Union and United States pioneered space technology augmented by collaboration with affiliated design...

 trips to low-Earth orbit (LEO).

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 in the first phase of the NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 Commercial Crew Development
Commercial Crew Development
Commercial Crew Development is a multiphase space technology development program, funded by the U.S. government, and administered by NASA. The program is intended to stimulate development of privately operated crew vehicles to low Earth orbit. It is run by the Commercial Crew and Cargo Program...

 Program (CCDev) to develop an Emergency Detection System
Emergency Detection System
An Emergency Detection System is a system that is used on manned rocket missions. It monitors critical launch vehicle and spacecraft systems and issues status, warning and abort commands to the crew during their mission to low Earth orbit. It can trigger the Launch Abort System which will take the...

 (EDS) for human-rating the Atlas V launch vehicle.
, 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."

NASA solicited proposals for CCDev 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 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.
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.

On July 18, 2011 NASA and ULA announced an agreement on the possibility of certifying the Atlas V to NASA's "human-rating" standards. ULA will provide NASA with data on the Atlas V, while NASA will provide ULA with draft human certification requirements.
Bigelow Aerospace is still considering the use of a human-rated Atlas V for carrying spaceflight participants to its private space station
Bigelow Commercial Space Station
The Bigelow Next-Generation Commercial Space Station is a private orbital space complex currently under development by Bigelow Aerospace. The space station will be constructed of both Sundancer and BA 330 expandable spacecraft modules as well as a central docking node, propulsion, solar arrays,...

. Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation
Sierra Nevada Corporation is an electronic systems provider and systems integrator specializing in microsatellites, energy, telemedicine, nanotechnology, and commercial orbital transportation services. The company contracts with the US military, NASA and private spaceflight companies. The company...

 (SNC) picked the Atlas V to be the booster for its still in development Dream Chaser crewed spacecraft. The Dream Chaser is designed to be a crewed vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing (VTHL) lifting-body
Lifting body
A lifting body is a fixed-wing aircraft configuration in which the body itself produces lift. In contrast to a flying wing, which is a wing with minimal or no conventional fuselage, a lifting body can be thought of as a fuselage with little or no conventional wing...

 spaceplane
Spaceplane
A spaceplane is a vehicle that operates as an aircraft in Earth's atmosphere, as well as a spacecraft when it is in space. It combines features of an aircraft and a spacecraft, which can be thought of as an aircraft that can endure and maneuver in the vacuum of space or likewise a spacecraft that...

 that will be placed into LEO by an Atlas V, and is a proposed CCDev ISS crew transport vehicle.

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
International Space Station
The International Space Station is a habitable, artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. The ISS follows the Salyut, Almaz, Cosmos, Skylab, and Mir space stations, as the 11th space station launched, not including the Genesis I and II prototypes...

, as well as private
Private spaceflight
Private spaceflight is flight above Earth altitude conducted by and paid for by an entity other than a government. In the early decades of the Space Age, the government space agencies of the Soviet Union and United States pioneered space technology augmented by collaboration with affiliated design...

 trips to the proposed Bigelow Commercial Space Station.
A three-flight test program is projected to be completed by 2015, and potentially will certify the Atlas V/CTS-100 combination for human-spaceflight operations. The first flight is expected to include an Atlas 5 rocket integrated with an unpiloted CST-100 capsule, to launch from Cape Canaveral's LC-41 in early 2015 into LEO. The second flight is scheduled to be an in-flight launch abort system demonstration in the middle of that year. 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.

Atlas V HLV


The Atlas V HLV (Heavy Lift Vehicle) would use three Common Core Booster
Common Core Booster
A modular rocket is a type of multistage rocket which features components that can be interchanged for specific mission requirements. Several such rockets use similar concepts such as unified modules to minimize expenses on manufacturing, transportation and for optimization of support...

 (CCB) stages strapped together to provide the capability necessary to lift 25 tonne payload to low Earth orbit
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

. Approximately 95% of the hardware required for the Atlas HLV has already been flown on the Atlas V single core vehicles.

A report, prepared by RAND Corporation for the Office of the Secretary of Defense
Office of the Secretary of Defense
The Office of the Secretary of Defense is a headquarters-level staff of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. It is the principal civilian staff element of the Secretary of Defense, and it assists the Secretary in carrying out authority, direction and control of the Department...

 in 2006, stated that Lockheed Martin had decided not to develop an Atlas V heavy-lift vehicle (HLV). 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."

The lifting capability of the Atlas V HLV is roughly equivalent to the Delta IV Heavy. The latter utilizes RS-68 engines developed and produced domestically by Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
Rocketdyne
Rocketdyne was a Rocket engine design and production company headquartered in Canoga Park, California, United States. The company was related to North American Aviation for most of its history. NAA merged with Rockwell International, which was then bought by Boeing in December, 1996...

.

, the Atlas V HLV configuration was available to customers 30 months from date of order.

Atlas Phase 2


With the merger of Boeing and Lockheed-Martin space operations into United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance
United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. U.S...

, 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. The proposed heavy-lift vehicle is "Atlas Phase 2" or "PH2". An Atlas V PH2-Heavy (three 5 m stages in parallel; six RD-180s) along with Shuttle-derived
Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle
Shuttle-Derived Launch Vehicle, or simply Shuttle-Derived Vehicle , is a term describing one of a wide array of concepts that have been developed for creating space launch vehicles from the components, technology and/or infrastructure of the Space Shuttle program. SDVs have also been part of...

, Ares V
Ares V
The Ares V was the planned cargo launch component of the Constellation program, which was to have replaced the Space Shuttle after its retirement in 2011. Ares V was also planned to carry supplies for a human presence on Mars...

 and Ares V Lite, was considered as a possible heavy lifter for use in future space missions in the Augustine Report
Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee
The Review of United States Human Space Flight Plans Committee was a group reviewing the human spaceflight plans of the United States...

. The Atlas PH2 HLV would launch a payload mass of approximately 70 metric tons into an orbit of 28.5 degree-inclination.

Versions



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
Payload fairing
Payload fairing is one of the main components of a launch vehicle. The fairing protects the payload during the ascent against the impact of the atmosphere . More recently, an additional function is to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments.Outside the atmosphere the fairing is...

, 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
Centaur (rocket stage)
Centaur is a rocket stage designed for use as the upper stage of space launch vehicles. Centaur boosts its satellite payload to geosynchronous orbit or, in the case of an interplanetary space probe, to or near to escape velocity...

 stage, either '1' or '2'. As of 2009, only the single-engine Centaur (SEC) has been used, and no launches using a dual-engine Centaur (DEC) are currently planned. For example, an Atlas V 552 has a 5-meter fairing, five solid rocket boosters, and two Centaur engines. An Atlas V 431 has a 4-meter fairing, three solid rocket boosters, and a single Centaur engine.

The 4-meter fairing
Payload fairing
Payload fairing is one of the main components of a launch vehicle. The fairing protects the payload during the ascent against the impact of the atmosphere . More recently, an additional function is to maintain the cleanroom environment for precision instruments.Outside the atmosphere the fairing is...

, originally designed for the Atlas II
Atlas II
Atlas II was a member of the Atlas family of launch vehicles, which evolved from the successful Atlas missile program of the 1950s. Atlas II was the last Atlas to use a three engine, "stage-and-a-half" design: two of its three engines were jettisoned during ascent, but its fuel tanks and other...

 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) in Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. The RUAG fairing uses carbon fiber
Carbon fiber
Carbon fiber, alternatively graphite fiber, carbon graphite or CF, is a material consisting of fibers about 5–10 μm in diameter and composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber...

 composite construction, based on flight proven hardware from the Ariane 5
Ariane 5
Ariane 5 is, as a part of Ariane rocket family, an expendable launch system used to deliver payloads into geostationary transfer orbit or low Earth orbit . Ariane 5 rockets are manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales...

. Three configurations will be manufactured to support 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.

Versions:
List Date: May 7, 2011.
Mass to LEO numbers are at an inclination of 28.5 degrees.
Version Fairing CCBs SRBs Upper stage Payload to LEO
Low Earth orbit
A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

Payload to GTO
Geostationary transfer orbit
A geosynchronous transfer orbit or geostationary transfer orbit is a Hohmann transfer orbit used to reach geosynchronous or geostationary orbit....

Launches to date
401 4 m 1 SEC 9,797 kg 4,750 kg 11
402 4 m 1 DEC 12,500 kg 0
411 4 m 1 1 SEC 12,150 kg 5,950 kg 3
412 4 m 1 1 DEC - - 0
421 4 m 1 2 SEC 14,067 kg 6,890 kg 3
431 4 m 1 3 SEC 15,718 kg 7,700 kg 2
501 5.4 m 1 SEC 8,123 kg 3,775 kg 3
502 5.4 m 1 DEC 0
511 5.4 m 1 1 SEC 10,986 kg 5,250 kg 0
512 5.4 m 1 1 DEC 0
521 5.4 m 1 2 SEC 13,490 kg 6,475 kg 2
522 5.4 m 1 2 DEC 0
531 5.4 m 1 3 SEC 15,575 kg 7,475 kg 1
532 5.4 m 1 3 DEC 0
541 5.4 m 1 4 SEC 17,443 kg 8,290 kg 1
542 5.4 m 1 4 DEC 0
551 5.4 m 1 5 SEC 18,814 kg 8,900 kg 2
552 5.4 m 1 5 DEC 20,520 kg 0
Heavy (HLV/5H1)) 5.4 m 3 SEC 0
Heavy (HLV DEC/5H2)) 5.4 m 3 DEC 29,400 kg 0

Atlas V launches


List Date: November 26, 2011
# Date and Time(UTC) Type Serial-no. Startplace Payload Type of payload Orbit Outcome Remarks
1 August 21, 2002, 22:05 401 AV-001 CC
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Located on Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida, CCAFS is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range with four launch pads...

 LC41
Hot Bird
Hot Bird
Hot Bird is the name of a popular family of satellites operated by Eutelsat, located at 13°E over the Equator and with a transmitting footprint over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East....

 6
Commercial communications satellite
Communications satellite
A communications satellite is an artificial satellite stationed in space for the purpose of telecommunications...

GSO Success First Atlas V launch
2 May 13, 2003, 22:10 401 AV-002 CC LC41 Hellas Sat 2 Commercial communications satellite GSO
Geosynchronous orbit
A geosynchronous orbit is an orbit around the Earth with an orbital period that matches the Earth's sidereal rotation period...

Success First satellite for Greece
Greece
Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

 and Cyprus
Cyprus
Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

3 July 17, 2003, 23:45 521 AV-003 CC LC41 Rainbow 1 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success First Atlas V 500 launch
First Atlas V launch with SRBs
4 December 17, 2004, 12:07 521 AV-005 CC LC41 AMC 16 Commercial communications satellite GSO Success
5 March 11, 2005, 21:42 431 AV-004 CC LC41 Inmarsat 4-F1
Inmarsat
Inmarsat plc is a British satellite telecommunications company, offering global, mobile services. It provides telephony and data services to users worldwide, via portable or mobile terminals which communicate to ground stations through eleven geostationary telecommunications satellites...

Commercial communications satellite GSO Success First Atlas V 400 launch with SRBs
6 August 12, 2005, 11:43 401 AV-007 CC LC41 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is a NASA multipurpose spacecraft designed to conduct reconnaissance and Exploration of Mars from orbit...

Mars
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

 orbiter
Areocentric
Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

Success First Atlas V launch for NASA
7 January 19, 2006, 19:00 551 AV-010 CC LC41 New Horizons
New Horizons
New Horizons is a NASA robotic spacecraft mission currently en route to the dwarf planet Pluto. It is expected to be the first spacecraft to fly by and study Pluto and its moons, Charon, Nix, Hydra and S/2011 P 1. Its estimated arrival date at the Pluto-Charon system is July 14th, 2015...

Pluto
Pluto
Pluto, formal designation 134340 Pluto, is the second-most-massive known dwarf planet in the Solar System and the tenth-most-massive body observed directly orbiting the Sun...

 and Kuiper Belt
Kuiper belt
The Kuiper belt , sometimes called the Edgeworth–Kuiper belt, is a region of the Solar System beyond the planets extending from the orbit of Neptune to approximately 50 AU from the Sun. It is similar to the asteroid belt, although it is far larger—20 times as wide and 20 to 200 times as massive...

 probe
Hyperbolic Success Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 Star 48
Star 48
The Star 48 is a type of solid rocket motor used by many space propulsion and launch vehicle stages, including the Space Shuttle and the New Horizons probe. It is used almost exclusively as an upper stage...

B third stage used, first Atlas V launch with a third stage
8 April 20, 2006, 20:27 411 AV-008 CC LC41 Astra 1KR
Astra 1KR
Astra 1KR is a geostationary satellite owned by SES Astra. It was launched in April 2006 as a replacement for Astra 1K, which failed to reach orbit on launch in 2002...

Commercial communications satellite GSO Success
9 March 8, 2007, 03:10 401 AV-013 CC LC41 Space Test Program
Space Test Program
The Space Test Program is the primary provider of spaceflight for the United States Department of Defense space science and technology community. STP is conducted by the Space Development and Test Wing of the United States Air Force...

-1
6 military research satellites LEO Success
  • First ULA Atlas launch
  • First Atlas V night launch
  • First three-burn Atlas V mission
  • FalconSAT-3
10 June 15, 2007, 15:11 401 AV-009 CC LC41 USA-194 (NRO L-30/NOSS
Noss
Noss is a small, previously inhabited island in Shetland, Scotland. It is a sheep farm and has been a National Nature Reserve since 1955.-Geography:...

-4-3A & B)
Two NRO
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

 Reconnaissance satellites
LEO Partial launch failure (Lower than intended orbit) First Atlas V flight for the National Reconnaissance Office
11 October 11, 2007, 00:22 421 AV-011 CC LC41 USA-195 (WGS
Wideband Global SATCOM system
The Wideband Global SATCOM system is a satellite communications system planned for use in partnership by the United States Department of Defense and the Australian Department of Defence. The system is composed of the Space Segment satellites, the Terminal Segment users and the Control Segment...

 SV-1)
Military communications satellite GTO Success Valve replacement
12 December 10, 2007, 22:05 401 AV-015 CCAFS
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station is an installation of the United States Air Force Space Command's 45th Space Wing, headquartered at nearby Patrick Air Force Base. Located on Cape Canaveral in the state of Florida, CCAFS is the primary launch head of America's Eastern Range with four launch pads...

 SLC-41
USA-198 (NRO L-24
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

)
NRO
National Reconnaissance Office
The National Reconnaissance Office , located in Chantilly, Virginia, is one of the 16 U.S. intelligence agencies. It designs, builds, and operates the spy satellites of the United States government.-Mission:...

 reconnaissance satellite
Molniya
Molniya orbit
Molniya orbit is a type of highly elliptical orbit with an inclination of 63.4 degrees, an argument of perigee of -90 degree and an orbital period of one half of a sidereal day...

Success
13 March 13, 2008, 10:02 411 AV-006 VAFB
Vandenberg Air Force Base
Vandenberg Air Force Base is a United States Air Force Base, located approximately northwest of Lompoc, California. It is under the jurisdiction of the 30th Space Wing, Air Force Space Command ....

 SLC-3E
Vandenberg AFB Space Launch Complex 3
Space Launch Complex 3 is a launch site at Vandenberg Air Force Base that has been used by Atlas and Thor rockets. It was built in the early 1960s and consists of two pads, SLC-3E and SLC-3W . The East-West coastline at Vandenberg allows SLC-3 to launch over-ocean polar trajectories that avoid...

USA-200 (NRO L-28) NRO reconnaissance satellite Molniya Success First Atlas V launch from Vandenberg
14 April 14, 2008, 20:12 421 AV-014 CC LC-41 ICO G1 Commercial communications satellite GTO Success
  • Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin
    Lockheed Martin is an American global aerospace, defense, security, and advanced technology company with worldwide interests. It was formed by the merger of Lockheed Corporation with Martin Marietta in March 1995. It is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, in the Washington Metropolitan Area....

     Commercial Launch Services launch
  • Heaviest payload launched by an Atlas.
    Largest comsat in the world at time of launch until the launch of TerreStar-1
    TerreStar-1
    TerreStar-1 is an American communications satellite which will be operated by TerreStar Corporation. It was constructed by Space Systems/Loral, based on the LS-1300S bus, and carries E/F band transponders which will be used to provide mobile communications to North America. The signals are...

     in 2009.
  • 15 April 4, 2009, 00:31 421 AV-016 CC LC-41 USA-204 (WGS SV2) Military communications satellite GTO Success
    16 June 18, 2009, 21:32 401 AV-020 CC SLC-41 LRO/LCROSS Lunar exploration HEO
    High Earth orbit
    A High Earth Orbit is a geocentric orbit whose apogee lies above that of a geosynchronous orbit .Highly Elliptical Orbits are a subset of High Earth Orbits.-Examples of satellites in High Earth Orbit:...

     
    Success 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 GTO Success
    18 October 18, 2009, 16:12 401 AV-017 VAFB SLC-3E USA-210 (DMSP 5D3-F18
    Defense Meteorological Satellite Program
    The Defense Meteorological Satellite Program monitors meteorological, oceanographic, and solar-terrestrial physics for the United States Department of Defense. The program is now run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The mission of the satellites was revealed in March 1973...

    )
    Military weather satellite LEO/S Success
    19 November 23, 2009, 06:55 431 AV-024 CCAFS SLC-41 Intelsat 14
    Intelsat 14
    Intelsat 14 is a communications satellite owned by Intelsat located at 45° West longitude, serving the Americas, Europe, and African markets. Intelsat 14 replaced Intelsat 1R which was at the end of its design life...

    Commercial communications satellite GTO Success LMCLS launch
    20 February 11, 2010, 15:23 401 AV-021 CCAFS SLC-41 SDO
    Solar Dynamics Observatory
    The Solar Dynamics Observatory is a NASA mission which will observe the Sun for over five years. Launched on February 11, 2010, the observatory is part of the Living With a Star program...

    Solar Observatory
    Solar observatory
    A solar observatory is an observatory that specializes in monitoring the Sun. As such, they usually have one or more solar telescopes.The Einstein Tower was a solar observatory in the Albert Einstein Science Park in Potsdam, Germany....

    GTO Success
    21 April 22, 2010, 23:52 501 AV-012 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-212 (X-37B OTV-1) Military orbital test vehicle LEO
    Low Earth orbit
    A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

    Success A piece of the external fairing did not break up on impact, but washed up on Hilton Head Island.
    22 August 14, 2010, 11:07 531 AV-019 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-214 (AEHF-1) Military communications satellite GTO Success
    23 September 21, 2010, 04:03 501 AV-025 VAFB SLC-3E USA-215 (NRO L-41) NRO reconnaissance satellite LEO
    Low Earth orbit
    A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

     (SSO
    Sun-synchronous orbit
    A Sun-synchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit which combines altitude and inclination in such a way that an object on that orbit ascends or descends over any given point of the Earth's surface at the same local mean solar time. The surface illumination angle will be nearly the same every time...

    )
    Success
    24 March 5, 2011, 22:46 501 AV-026 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-226 (X-37B OTV-2)
    USA-226
    USA-226 is the first flight of the second Boeing X-37B, the Orbital Test Vehicle 2 , an American unmanned robotic vertical-takeoff, horizontal-landing spaceplane. It was launched aboard an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral on 2011, and is currently being operated in low Earth orbit...

    Military orbital test vehicle LEO
    Low Earth orbit
    A low Earth orbit is generally defined as an orbit within the locus extending from the Earth’s surface up to an altitude of 2,000 km...

    Success
    25 April 15, 2011, 04:24 411 AV-027 VAFB SLC-3E USA-228 (NRO L-34) NRO reconnaissance satellite LEO Success
    26 May 7, 2011, 18:10 401 AV-022 CCAFS SLC-41 USA-230 (SBIRS-GEO-1) Missile Warning satellite GTO Success
    27 August 5, 2011, 16:25 551 AV-029 CCAFS SLC-41 Juno
    Juno (spacecraft)
    Juno is a NASA New Frontiers mission to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011. The spacecraft is to be placed in a polar orbit to study the planet's composition, gravity field, magnetic field, and polar magnetosphere...

    Jupiter orbiter Jovicentric
    Jupiter
    Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest planet within the Solar System. It is a gas giant with mass one-thousandth that of the Sun but is two and a half times the mass of all the other planets in our Solar System combined. Jupiter is classified as a gas giant along with Saturn,...

    Success
    28 November 26, 2011, 15:02 541 AV-028 CCAFS SLC-41 Mars Science Laboratory
    Mars Science Laboratory
    The Mars Science Laboratory is a National Aeronautics and Space Administration mission with the aim to land and operate a rover named Curiosity on the surface of Mars. The MSL was launched November 26, 2011, at 10:02 EST and is scheduled to land on Mars at Gale Crater between August 6 and 20, 2012...

    Mars Rover Hyperbolic Success Centaur stage to enter orbit around the sun

    For planned launches, see:
    List of Atlas launches (2010–2019)

    See also



    Comparable rockets:
    Delta IV —
    Proton —
    Ariane 5
    Ariane 5
    Ariane 5 is, as a part of Ariane rocket family, an expendable launch system used to deliver payloads into geostationary transfer orbit or low Earth orbit . Ariane 5 rockets are manufactured under the authority of the European Space Agency and the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales...

     —
    Chang Zheng 5 —
    GSLV Mk.III
    GSLV III
    The GSLV-III or Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle mark III is a launch vehicle currently under development by the Indian Space Research Organization...

     —
    Angara —
    Falcon 9
    Falcon 9
    Falcon 9 is a rocket-powered spaceflight launch system designed and manufactured by SpaceX. Both stages of its two-stage-to-orbit vehicle use liquid oxygen and rocket-grade kerosene propellants...

     —
    H-IIA
    H-IIA
    H-IIA is an active expendable launch system operated by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency . The liquid-fueled H-IIA rockets have been used to launch satellites into geostationary orbit, to launch a lunar orbiting spacecraft, and to launch an interplanetary...

     —
    H-IIB
    H-IIB
    H-IIB is an expendable launch system used to launch H-II Transfer Vehicles towards the International Space Station. H-IIB rockets are liquid-fuelled with solid-fuel strap-on boosters and are launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan...

     —
    Zenit
    Zenit rocket
    Zenit is a family of space launch vehicles designed by the Yuzhnoye Design Bureau of Ukraine. Zenit was built in the 1980s for two purposes: as a liquid rocket booster for the Energia rocket and, equipped with a second stage, as a stand-alone rocket...

     —
    • Comparison of medium lift launch systems
    • Comparison of mid-heavy lift launch systems

    External links