Launching for the 200th time and loaded with one of its heaviest cargoes ever, the Atlas-Centaur rocket flexed its muscle and sped away from Cape Canaveral on Tuesday night with a U.S. Navy satellite for mobile communications to the military and White House.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket fitted with five powerful solid-fueled boosters has lifted off from a seaside launch complex at Cape Canaveral with the U.S. Navy’s third Mobile User Objective System communications satellite.
This photo gallery shows the U.S. Navy’s third Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite being encapsulated in the rocket’s nose cone and being lifted atop the Atlas-Centaur vehicle. Liftoff is planned for Jan. 20.
The preliminary weather forecast for Tuesday evening’s Atlas 5 rocket launch carrying a Navy communications satellite predicts a 60 percent chance of acceptable conditions, with thick clouds the main threat against flying at 7:43 p.m. EST as scheduled.