Photos: Atlas 5 rocket assembled for NASA satellite launch

The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket that will hurl the four MMS satellites into a highly elliptical Earth orbit on March 12 has completed its basic build up at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 Vertical Integration Facility. The spacecraft will fly in formation for the Magnetospheric Multiscale mission to gain new insights into the connections and disconnections of the lines in Earth’s magnetic field.

The rocket will fly in the 421 configuration, which features the Common Core Booster powered by an RD-180 main engine, two strap-on solid motors and a single-engine Centaur upper stage.

Photo credit: NASA-KSC

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