ULA releases ‘rocketcam’ video from Atlas 5 launch

United Launch Alliance has released views from cameras mounted aboard the company’s most recent Atlas 5 rocket launch showing the rocket’s blastoff from Cape Canaveral at dawn Aug. 8 with a U.S. Air Force communications satellite.

The cameras captured spectacular video of the 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket lifting off from Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad at 6:13 a.m. EDT (1013 GMT) on Aug. 8. The Atlas 5 arced toward the east over the Atlantic Ocean with the Air Force’s fifth Advanced Extremely High Frequency communications satellite.

The on-board camera views show the Atlas 5’s five strap-on solid rocket boosters burning out and jettisoning, followed by separation of the rocket’s Swiss-made payload shroud as the launch vehicle climbed into sunlight. The Atlas booster shut down its Russian-built RD-180 engine moments later, then released to allow the Centaur upper stage’s Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engine to ignite.

The video ends with a view of the deployment of the Air Force’s AEHF 5 satellite nearly six hours after launch, on the way to a geostationary orbit more than 22,000 miles (nearly 36,000 kilometers) over the equator.

The Aug. 8 mission marked the 80th flight of ULA’s Atlas 5 rocket since 2002.

Read our full story for details on the Aug. 8 launch.

Email the author.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.