April 24, 2018

Photos: Atlas 5 rolled out for Air Force mission

A United Launch Alliance arrived at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad Friday morning after rolling out of its vertical hangar with three U.S. Air Force satellites designed to provide communications to military leaders and test new in-orbit inspection and surveillance technology.

These photos show the 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket emerging from the Vertical Integration Facility on top of its mobile launch platform. Special locomotives called “trackmobiles” pushed the rocket along tracks toward the launch pad.

The 1,800-foot (550-meter) journey took less than an hour, and ground crews planned to connect the Atlas 5 to the launch pad’s electrical and fluid supplies, then load the rocket’s first stage with RP-1 kerosene fuel Friday afternoon.

Liftoff on the AFSPC 11 mission is set for 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT) Saturday. The launch window extends to 9:11 p.m. EDT (0111 GMT Sunday).

Read our full story for details on the mission.

Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance

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