Atlas V

Atlas V[lower-alpha 1] is an expendable launch system and the fifth major version in the Atlas rocket family. It was originally designed by Lockheed Martin, now being operated by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture between Lockheed Martin and Boeing. Atlas V is also a major NASA launch vehicle. In 2021, ULA announced that Atlas V would be retired after an additional 29 launches.[8]

Atlas V
Launch of an Atlas V 401 carrying the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS space probes on 18 June 2009.
Function
ManufacturerUnited Launch Alliance
Country of originUnited States
Cost per launchUS$110–153 million in 2016[1]
Size
Height58.3 m (191 ft)
Diameter3.81 m (12.5 ft)
Mass590,000 kg (1,300,000 lb)
Stages2 (3 with Star 48 upper stage)
Capacity
Payload to Low Earth orbit (LEO)
Inclination28.7°
Mass8,210–18,850 kg (18,100–41,560 lb)[2]
Payload to GTO
Mass4,750–8,900 kg (10,470–19,620 lb)
Associated rockets
FamilyAtlas (rocket family)
Derived fromAtlas III
Comparable
Launch history
StatusActive
Launch sitesCape Canaveral, SLC-41
Vandenberg, SLC-3E
Total launches87
(401: 38, 411: 6, 421: 8, 431: 3)
(501: 7, 521: 2, 531: 4, 541: 7, 551: 11)
(N22: 1)
Success(es)87
(401: 38, 411: 6, 421: 8, 431: 3)
(501: 7, 521: 2, 531: 4, 541: 7, 551: 11)
(N22: 1) [3]
First flight21 August 2002
Hot Bird 6
Last flight18 May 2021
SBIRS GEO-5
Notable payloads
Boosters – AJ-60A[4]
No. boosters0 to 5
Length17 m (56 ft)[4]
Diameter1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)
Gross mass46,697 kg (102,949 lb)
Propellant mass42,630 kg (93,980 lb)[5]
Thrust1,688.4 kN (379,600 lbf)
Specific impulse279.3 s (2.739 km/s)
Burn time94 seconds
PropellantHTPB
Boosters – GEM-63[6][7]
No. boosters0 to 5
Length20.1 m (66 ft)[6]
Diameter1.6 m (5 ft 3 in)
Gross mass49,300 kg (108,700 lb)
Propellant mass44,200 kg (97,400 lb)
Thrust1,663 kN (374,000 lbf)
Burn time94 seconds
PropellantHTPB
First stage – Atlas CCB
Length32.46 m (106.5 ft)
Diameter3.81 m (12.5 ft)
Empty mass21,054 kg (46,416 lb)
Propellant mass284,089 kg (626,309 lb)
Engines1 RD-180
Thrust3,827 kN (860,000 lbf) (sea level)
4,152 kN (933,000 lbf) (vacuum)
Specific impulse311.3 s (3.053 km/s) (sea level)
337.8 s (3.313 km/s) (vacuum)
Burn time253 seconds
PropellantRP-1 / LOX
Second stage – Centaur
Length12.68 m (41.6 ft)
Diameter3.05 m (10.0 ft)
Empty mass2,316 kg (5,106 lb)
Propellant mass20,830 kg (45,920 lb)
Engines1 RL10A or 1 RL10C (SEC), or 2 RL10A (DEC)
Thrust99.2 kN (22,300 lbf) (RL10A)
Specific impulse450.5 s (4.418 km/s) (RL10A-4-2)
Burn time842 seconds (RL10A-4-2)
PropellantLH2 / LOX

Each Atlas V rocket consists of two main stages. The first stage is powered by a Russian RD-180 engine manufactured by Energomash and burning kerosene and liquid oxygen. The Centaur upper stage is powered by one or two American RL10 engine(s) manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne and burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen. The Star 48 upper stage was used on the New Horizons mission as a third stage. AJ-60A strap-on solid rocket boosters (SRBs) are used in some configurations. In November 2020, they were replaced by the GEM-63 SRBs. The standard payload fairings are 4.2 or 5.4 m (14 or 18 ft) in diameter with various lengths.[9]