Image credit & copyright: United Launch Alliance (ULA) of AV-028 MSL Curiosity, which was the 1st 541 configuration used. More information to include rocket data and links for live stream below.
LAUNCH ALERT: Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 17:42 EST (22:42 UTC) the United Launch Alliance (ULA), utilizing an Atlas V-541 rocket designated (AV-069) will deliver the NOAA/NASA Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R (GOES-R or GOES-16) environmental satellite from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida. The launch window for this mission extends for 1 hour.
This will be the ULA’s 113th launch, the 67th launch of the Atlas V, and the 4th launch of the Atlas V in its 541 configuration.
The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V-500 Series rocket is a two-stage rocket that depending on the size of the fairing used stands between 59.7 m (196 ft.) and 65.5 m (215 ft.) with a diameter of 12.5ft (3.81m) and consists of an Atlas Common Core Booster with a Russian RD-180 engine and first stage with a United States RL-10 Centaur upper stage built by AeroJet-Rocketdyne. The vehicle is available in 6 different configurations which are built specifically for each individual mission. Its launch sites are Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Launch Complex-41 (LC-41) or Vandenberg Air Force Base, Launch Complex-3 (LC-3).
The Atlas V-500 series payload delivery performance:
Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit (GTO): 8,320 lb. (3,780 kg) to 19,620 lb. (8,900 kg).
Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 17,510 lb. (7,940 kg) to 41,570 lb. (18,850 kg).
541 Configuration Summary:
5 = 5 meter, two-shell fairing.
4 = 4 external solid rocket boosters.
1 = 1 Aerojet-Rocketdyne, Centaur second stage engine.
Main Payload Fairing (PLF): The Main Payload Fairing for the Atlas-V-500 series is a two-shell fairing that can come in three configurations. All 5 m (17.8 ft.) in diameter, there’s a 68 ft. (20.7 m) “short”, a 77 ft. (23.5 m) “medium” and an 87 ft. (26.5 m) “long” option for the fairing based on the payload. The fairings are used to protect the spacecraft & Centaur during its ascent through atmospheric turbulence and into space. Once the rocket has reached a safe altitude the fairings are pyrotechnically jettisoned via a debris-free actuating system.
Centaur Upper Stage: The Centaur Upper stage is 10 ft. (3.1 m) in diameter and 41.6 ft. (12.7 m) in length. It consists of a single Cryogenic RL-10A-4-2 (RL-10) Aerojet Rocketdyne Engine that provides 22,300 lb. of thrust and utilizes liquid hydrogen (LH2) for propellant and liquid oxygen (LOX) as an oxidizer with a burn time of up to 740 seconds to include multiple engine firings. There are also four 27-N (Newton) thrusters and eight 40-N (Newton) thrusters used for attitude control. Both utilize hydrazine as propellant. The Centaur Forward Adapter (CFA) provides structural mountings for vehicle electronics within the spacecraft.
Solid Rocket Booster’s (SRB’s): Have a diameter of 62.2 in. (158 cm) with a length of 65.6 ft. (20 m). The total number of SRB’s utilized is dependent on the individual mission and vary from none at all to 5. Each have a burn time of about 88.3 seconds.
Common Core Booster (CCB) (First-Stage): The American Atlas V Common Booster Core is 106.5 ft. (32.46 m) in length by 12.5 ft. (3.8 m) in diameter and is powered by a single two-chamber Russian RD-180 engine manufactured by NPO Energomash, that utilizes Rocket Propellant-1 (RP-1 or highly purified kerosene) as propellant and Liquid Oxygen (LOX) as the oxidizer. It provides 860,300 lb. of thrust at sea level and can burn for 311 seconds. The RD-180 engine is modeled after the 4-chanber RD-170 engines used by the Zenit rocket family.
Atlas V’s Russian RD-180 Engine. Image courtesy of NASA.
Stream Live: Webcast begins at 10:10 EDT.
ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx
MUOS-5 Mission Information:
45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast: http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather
United Launch Alliance (ULA):
ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/
Twitter for ULA CEO Tory Bruno: https://twitter.com/torybruno
Atlas V Rocket:
Atlas V rocket: http://www.ulalaunch.com/Products_AtlasV.aspx
Atlas V Users Guide: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/AtlasVUsersGuide2010.pdf
Atlas V 400 Series Cutaway: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Atlas400_Cutaway.pdf
Atlas V 500 Series Cutaway: http://www.ulalaunch.com/uploads/docs/Atlas500_Cutaway.pdf
Lockheed Martin Atlas V: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/atlas.html
Main Site: http://www.rocket.com/
National Reconnaissance Office (NRO):
Main Site: http://www.nro.gov/
Patrick AFB: 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral, FL:
Main Site: http://www.patrick.af.mil/
Vandenberg AFB, 30th Space Wing, CA:
Vandenberg AFB : http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/
Air Force Space Command:
Main Site: http://www.afspc.af.mil/
Los Angeles Air Force Base, Space and Missile Systems Center:
Main Site: http://www.losangeles.af.mil/
Peterson AFB (21st Space Wing):
Main Site: http://www.peterson.af.mil/