Propelled by five strap-on solid rocket boosters and a Russian-made kerosene-fueled RD-180 main engine, a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on March 26 with the U.S. military’s sixth AEHF communications satellite.
The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket fired away from pad 41 at Cape Canaveral at 4:18 p.m. EDT (2018 GMT).
Riding 2.6 million pounds of thrust, the Atlas 5 arced toward the east from Florida’s Space Coast. Nearly six hours later, the Atlas 5’s Centaur upper stage deployed the Lockheed Martin-built AEHF 6 communications satellite into orbit, adding the final node to a six-satellite network providing secure voice and data relay services to the U.S. military and national leadership.
These photos show the rocket’s fiery takeoff from Cape Canaveral.
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