Mighty Atlas to Serve the U.S. Military Next Week (AEHF-4)

LAUNCH ALERT: Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 00:15 EDT (04:15 UTC) a United Launch Alliance (ULA), Atlas V-551 rocket designated (AV-073) will lift off from Space Launch Complex-41 (SLC-41) at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS), Florida carrying the fourth Lockheed Martin, Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF-4) satellite for the United States Military.

This will be the ULA’s 8th launch of 2018, 131st launch since its founding in 2006, the 78th launch of the Atlas V since its inaugural flight in 2002 and the 9th launch of the Atlas V in its 551 configuration.

551 Configuration Summary:

5 = 5 meter, two-shell fairing

5 = 5 external solid rocket boosters

1 = 1 Aerojet-Rocketdyne, Centaur second stage engine

The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V-500 Series Rocket:

Launch Sites: Space Launch Complex 41 (SLC-41) at Cape Canaveral AFS, FL and Space Launch Complex 3E (SLC-3E) at Vandenberg AFB, CA.

Height: 62.2 m (204 ft.)

Core Diameter: 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Width at Base: 7 m (23 ft.)

Stages: 2

Boosters: 0-5

Total Engines: Single NPO Energomash RD-180 first stage engine (Aerojet-Rocketdyne AJ-60A boosters vary per mission)

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level)(5 boosters): 12,267 kN (2,757,731 lbf)

Gross Mass: 334,500 kg (737,400 lb.)

Payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 18.850 kg (41,570 lb.)

Payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO): 8,900 kg (19,620 lb.)

Payload to Geosynchronous Orbit (GEO): 3,850 kg (8,500 lb.)

Cost: $109 million

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 but 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:

Height: 12.68 m. (41.6 ft.)

Diameter: 3.5 m (10 ft.)

Engine(s): Single Aerojet-Rocketdyne RL-10 Engine

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type (cycle): Expander cycle

Propellant Feed Method: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 9.7 MPa or 97 bars or 1,410 psi

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Liquid Hydrogen (LH2). More expensive, less powerful by volume, and much less stable than Rocket Propellant 1 (RP-1) but provides a higher specific impulse.

Oxidizer: Subcooled Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Thrust (vacuum): 110 kN (25,000 lbf.)

Single RL-10 Thrust to Weight Ratio: N/A

Specific Impulse (vacuum): 450.5 s

Burn Time: 842 s

Restart Ability: Yes

Reusable?: No

Attitude Control: 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):

Height: 17 m. (55.8 ft.)

Diameter: 1.6 m (5.1 ft.)

Engine(s): Single Aerojet-Rocketdyne AJ-60A engine

Engine Chambers: 1

Engine Type (cycle): N/A

Propellant Feed Method: N/A

Chamber Pressure: N/A

Fuel Type: Solid

Fuel: Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB)

Single AJ-60A Thrust (sea level): 1,688 kN (379,600 lbf.)

Single RD-180 Thrust to Weight Ratio: 78.44

Specific Impulse (sea level): 279.3 s

Burn Time: 94 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No


Common Core Booster (CCB) (First-Stage):

Height: 32.46 m. (106.5 ft.)

Diameter: 3.81 m (12.5 ft.)

Width at Base (core and boosters): 7 m (23 ft.)

Engine(s): Single NPO Energomash RD-180 engine

Engine Chambers: 2

Engine Type (cycle): Staged combustion

Propellant Feed Method: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 26.7 MPa or 267 bar or 3,870 psi

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket Propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-180 Thrust (sea level/vacuum): 3,827 kN (860,000 lbf.)/4,152 kN (933,000 lbf.)

Single RD-180 Thrust to Weight Ratio: 78.44

Total Liftoff Thrust (sea level)(core only-no SRBs): 3,827 kN (860,000 lbf.)

Specific Impulse (sea level/vacuum): 311 s/337.8 s

Burn Time: 270 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No

Stream Live:

ULA Webcast: http://www.ulalaunch.com/webcast.aspx

ULA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance

ULA Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch

AFSPC-11 Mission:  

45th Space Wing L-1 Weather Forecast: http://www.patrick.af.mil/About-Us/Weather

Mission Basics: https://www.ulalaunch.com/missions/atlas-v-aehf-4

General 2018 Launch Schedule (Wiki): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_in_spaceflight

United Launch Alliance (ULA):

ULA homepage: http://www.ulalaunch.com/

Discover ULA: http://www.discoverula.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ulalaunch

Twitter for ULA CEO Tory Bruno: https://twitter.com/torybruno

Instagram: http://instagram.com/ulalaunch

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ulalaunch

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/UnitedLaunchAlliance

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ulalaunch/


Main Site: http://www.rocket.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AerojetRdyne

Facebook: http://facebook.com/AerojetRdyne

Atlas V Rocket:

Atlas V rocket: https://www.ulalaunch.com/rockets/atlas-v

Atlas V Users Guide: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlasvusersguide2010.pdf

Atlas V 400 Series Cutaway: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlas400_cutaway.pdf

Atlas V 500 Series Cutaway: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/atlas500_cutaway.pdf

Atlas V & Delta IV Technical Summary: https://www.ulalaunch.com/docs/default-source/rockets/av_div_product_card.pdf

Lockheed Martin Atlas V: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/atlas.html

Atlas V Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_V

Atlas V Spaceflight 101: http://www.spaceflight101.net/atlas-v-551.html

List of all Atlas V launches: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Atlas_launches

Patrick AFB: 45th Space Wing, Cape Canaveral, FL:

Main Site: http://www.patrick.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/45thSpaceWing

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/45thSpaceWing

Vandenberg AFB, 30th Space Wing, CA:

Vandenberg AFB launch complex locations & viewing locations: https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1eJ71ff_mISR9o8ndMX7nwrvQlTw&hl=en_US&ll=34.6567746365756%2C-120.51221950488281&z=12

Vandenberg AFB : http://www.vandenberg.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/30thSpaceWing

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/30thSpaceWing

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/30SWVandenberg

Air Force Space Command (AFSC):

Main Site: http://www.afspc.af.mil/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AFSpace

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AirForceSpaceCommand

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC339eVx3dEGpH6tFRZt-oDg

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/airforcespacecommand/

Los Angeles Air Force Base, Space and Missile Systems Center:

Main Site: http://www.losangeles.af.mil/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SpaceandMissileSystemsCenter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AF_SMC

Instagram: https://instagram.com/af_smc/

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129133022@N07/

Peterson AFB (21st Space Wing), Colorado Springs, CO:

Main Site: http://www.peterson.af.mil/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/21stSpaceWing

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PeteAFB

Instagram: http://instagram.com/officialusairforce

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