February 19, 2017

More views of Thursday night’s Atlas 5 launch

Spaceflight Now’s readers sent in photos from Thursday night’s launch of four NASA satellites aboard an Atlas 5 rocket, marking a fiery start to a mission probing the fundamental workings of the magnetic bubble shielding Earth from cosmic radiation.

The Atlas 5 rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad at 10:44 p.m. EDT Thursday (0244 GMT Wednesday). The launcher’s RD-180 main engine and twin Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket motors gave the mission a boost out of the atmosphere, then a Centaur upper stage placed the four spacecraft into a highly elliptical orbit stretching some 40,000 miles above Earth.

Credit: Ben Cooper / LaunchPhotography.com
Credit: Ben Cooper / LaunchPhotography.com
Photo credit: Ben Wilking (@BenWilking)
Photo credit: Ben Wilking (@BenWilking)
Photo credit: Richard Angle (@Angle1555)
Photo credit: Richard Angle (@Angle1555)
Photo credit: Joey Vars (@joetherocketman)
Photo credit: Joey Vars (@joetherocketman)
Photo credit: Brian Barnes (@BrianBarnesWX)
Photo credit: Brian Barnes (@BrianBarnesWX)
Photo credit: Brent Bozo
Photo credit: Brent Bozo
Photo credit: Aaron Collier
Photo credit: Aaron Collier

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.