The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket was transfered from its assembly building to the pad at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 today for Thursday’s launch of the U.S. military’s third SBIRS GEO missile warning satellite.
Liftoff is planned for 7:46 p.m. EST (0046 GMT).
The rocket was wheeled out aboard a mobile launcher platform, emerging from the hangar where the rocket’s two stages and the payload were integrated over the past two weeks.
The slow drive from the 30-story Vertical Integration Facility to the launch pad used a pair of specially-made “trackmobiles” to carry the rocket’s 1.4-million pound launching platform along rail tracks for the 1,800-foot trip.
The rocket is flying the 401 vehicle configuration. The version features two stages, a four-meter-diameter nose cone and no solids. It is powered off the launch pad by an RD AMROSS RD-180 main engine. The Centaur upper stage has an Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 cryogenic engine.
Photo credit: United Launch Alliance
See earlier SBIRS GEO Flight 3 coverage.
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