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The Mission

Rocket: Atlas 2AS (Atlas/Centaur-163)
Payload: Superbird 6
Date: April 15, 2004
Window: 8:45 to 9:18 p.m. EDT (0045-0118 GMT on 16th)
Site: Complex 36A, Cape Canaveral, Florida
Satellite feed: Galaxy 3, Transponder 22, C-band

Launch events timeline

Ground track map

Orbit insertion graphic

Launch hazard area

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Atlas rocket lifts off
The Lockheed Martin Atlas 2AS rocket launches the Japanese Superbird 6 communications spacecraft from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (3min 09sec file)
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Payload deployed
The Japanese Superbird 6 communications spacecraft is successfully deployed from the Centaur upper stage to complete the launch. (57sec file)
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Celebrating success
Officials make celebratory speeches following the launch of Superbird 6 aboard the Atlas rocket. (3min 34sec file)
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Launch animation
Preview the launch of Lockheed Martin's Atlas 2AS rocket carrying the Superbird 6 communications satellite with this narrated animation package. (2min 51sec file)
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Superbird animation
This animation shows the Japanese Superbird 6 spacecraft manuevering itself into geostationary orbit and deploying its antennas and solar panels. (60sec file)
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The most recent Atlas
The Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A rocket launches in mid-March carrying the Mobile Broadcasting Satellite from Cape Canaveral, Florida. (5min 04sec file)
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The Payload

The Superbird 6 satellite, built by Boeing, will be used to provide communications services across Japan.

Learn more

The Launcher

Lockheed Martin's Atlas 2AS rocket, equipped with four strap-on solid boosters, makes its 28th flight during the launch of Superbird 6.

Atlas 2AS fact sheet

Archived Atlas coverage


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Follow the countdown and launch of the Lockheed Martin Atlas 2AS rocket with the Japanese Superbird 6 communications satellite. Reload this page for the very latest on the mission.

Read our earlier status center coverage.