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.
SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk has shared images of the Falcon 9 booster’s crash landing on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean after the rocket’s successful Jan. 10 liftoff with supplies for the International Space Station.
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.
Up to 24 launches are planned from Cape Canaveral in 2015, thanks to jam-packed manifests for SpaceX and United Launch Alliance to send up satellites for the U.S. military, NASA and commercial telecom operators.
Navigation satellites, communications spacecraft, classified missions, NASA science projects and the Orbital Sciences Cygnus cargo ship destined for the International Space Station are on the United Launch Alliance manifest for the new year.
A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket put on a display of power, sound and light Friday evening at Vandenberg Air Force Base in launching a clandestine national security payload, then successfully debuted a new upper stage engine as it flew over the horizon.
The United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket unleashed two million pounds of thrust at 7:19 p.m. PST (10:19 p.m. EST) on Dec. 12 to blast off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on the NROL-35 mission. See photos of the launch from the press viewing site.