October 16, 2021

Photos: Atlas 5 rocket lifts off from foggy Vandenberg Space Force Base


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Shrouded in a veil of fog, an Atlas 5 rocket fired away from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California Monday with the Landsat 9 remote sensing satellite.

The 194-foot-tall (59-meter) rocket, built by United Launch Alliance, lifted off from the SLC-3E launch pad at Vandenberg at 11:12 a.m. PDT (2:12 p.m. EDT; 1812 GMT) Monday.

The Atlas 5 launched in its basic, least powerful configuration without any strap-on solid rocket boosters. This variant of the rocket, known as the “401,” has flown 39 times since the Atlas 5’s debut in 2002.

A Russian-made RD-180 main engine propelled the Atlas 5 off the launch pad with 860,000 pounds of thrust. It was the 16th and second-to-last flight of an Atlas 5 rocket from Vandenberg.

Read our launch story for details on the Landsat 9 mission.

Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Brian Sandoval / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: Alex Polimeni / Spaceflight Now
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Credit: United Launch Alliance
Credit: United Launch Alliance

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