December 11, 2018

On the pad: Atlas 5 rocket in position for third flight of 2018


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.

These photos captured on the eve of launch show a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket standing on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, ready for blastoff on the U.S. Air Force’s AFSPC 11 mission with three satellites on-board.

Liftoff is set during a launch window Saturday that opens at 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT) and closes at 9:11 p.m. EDT (0111 GMT Sunday). The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket, propelled by an RD-180 main engine and five solid rocket boosters, is shown in these photos Friday at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad.

The AFSPC 11 mission will be the 77th flight of an Atlas 5 rocket, and the third Atlas 5 launch of 2018.

A military communications satellite named CBAS, or Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, is the forward payload in the Atlas 5’s upper shroud. A spacecraft named EAGLE, which contains several military experiments including a separating subsatellite named Mycroft, is in the aft position inside the Atlas 5 payload fairing.

Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni/Spaceflight Now
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.


If you would like to see more articles like this please support our coverage of the space program by becoming a Spaceflight Now Member. If everyone who enjoys our website helps fund it, we can expand and improve our coverage further.
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!