Maiden launch of Atlas 3
Posted: May 24, 2000
Lockheed Martin's first Atlas 3A rocket was successfully launched on May 24 from Cape Canaveral and placed the Eutelsat W4 satellite into orbit. Images: Lockheed Martin TV/Spaceflight Now.
Flight data file
Vehicle: Atlas 3A (AC-201)
Payload: Eutelsat's W4
Launch date: May 24, 2000
Launch window: 2139-2358 GMT (5:39-7:58 p.m. EDT)
Launch site: SLC-36B, Cape Canaveral, Fla.
The inaugural Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A rocket launches from Cape Canaveral with the Eutelsat W4 satellite.
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A video camera mounted to the side of the Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A rocket shows the successful liftoff from Cape Canaveral's pad 36B.
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The Atlas booster stage separates and the payload fairing is jettisoned as seen by a video camera mounted to the side of rocket.
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A camera attached to the Centaur upper stage shows the Atlas booster stage being released and ignition of the RL-10 engine.
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Watch the planned sequence of events as the inaugural Atlas 3A rocket carries the Eutelsat W4 telecommunications satellite into orbit.
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Lockheed Martin's John Karas explains how the Atlas 3A will accelerate from Earth much faster than previous Atlas rockets.
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Learn about the engines and stages of the Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A rocket that will launch the Eutelsat W4 satellite.
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The Russian RD-180 engine is test fired at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to prepare for use aboard the Atlas 3 rocket.
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The first Lockheed Martin Atlas 3A rocket is assembled at Cape Canaveral's pad 36Bfor the inaugural launch.
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Eutelsat's W4 telecommunications satellite undergoes final pre-launch processing work in Florida.
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Launch preview - Read our story for a complete preview of the first Atlas 3A launch.
Launch timeline - Chart with times and descriptions of events to occur during the launch.
Atlas 3A vehicle data - Overview of the rocket that will launch W4 into space.
The RD-180 - Facts and figures about the Russian-built engine to power Atlas 3.
Eutelsat W4 - Description of the satellite to be launched on AC-201.
Launch windows - Available windows for future launch dates of AC-201.
FULL LAUNCH STORY