A powerful Atlas 5 rocket fitted with a kerosene-burning main engine and five solid-fueled boosters lit up Florida’s Space Coast with Tuesday night’s blastoff carrying a U.S. Navy communications satellite into orbit. We present a sample of launch photos submitted by Spaceflight Now’s readers.
This photo gallery shows the U.S. Navy’s third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite being encapsulated in the rocket’s nose cone and being lifted atop the Atlas-Centaur vehicle. Liftoff is planned for Jan. 20.
The preliminary weather forecast for Tuesday evening’s Atlas 5 rocket launch carrying a Navy communications satellite predicts a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions, with thick clouds the main threat against flying at 7:43 p.m. EST as scheduled.