Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas V



atlas5va.jpg
Atlas V Variants
Atlas V Variants
Credit: © Mark Wade
atlas2ar.gif
Atlas 2AR
Credit: © Mark Wade
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RD-180
Credit: Lockheed Martin
American orbital launch vehicle. The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance.

When combined with a standard Atlas payload fairing, the configuration was designated as the Atlas V 400 series. The Atlas V 500 series combined the CCB with a larger 5 m diameter payload fairing derived from that used on the Ariane 5 vehicle The Atlas V 500 series could also tailor performance by incorporating from zero to five solid rocket boosters (SRB).

Both Atlas V 400 and 500 configurations incorporated a stretched version of the Centaur upper stage (CIII), which could be configured as a single-engine Centaur (SEC) or a dual engine Centaur (DEC). The Atlas V family of launch vehicles could be launched from either Cape Canaveral Air Station Launch Complex 41 or Vandenberg Air Force Base Space Launch Complex 3W.

A three-digit naming convention was developed for the Atlas V launch vehicle system to identify it's multiple configuration possibilities, as follows: the first digit identified the diameter class (in meters) of the payload fairing (4 or 5 m); the second digit indicated the number of solid rocket motors used (zero for Atlas V 400 and zero to five for Atlas V 500); the third digit represented the number of Centaur engines (one or two). Payload performance of the possible variants were as follows (payloads over 9,050 kg would require structural modification to the basic vehicle):

Atlas V Payload in kg - Configuration x Orbit

ConfigurationLEO 28 degLEO PolarGeosynch TransferGeosynch
Atlas V 40112,50010,7505,000N/A
Atlas V 50110,3009,0504,1001,500
Atlas V 51112,05010,2004,9001,750
Atlas V 52113,95011,8006,0002,200
Atlas V 53117,25014,6006,9003,000
Atlas V 54118,75015,8507,6003,400
Atlas V 55120,05017,0008,2003,750

Success Rate: 100.00%. Launch data is: continuing. Launch Price $: 138.000 million in 2004 dollars.

Stage Data - Atlas V

  • Stage 0. 5 x Atlas V SRB. Gross Mass: 40,824 kg (90,001 lb). Empty Mass: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb). Thrust (vac): 1,270.000 kN (285,500 lbf). Isp: 275 sec. Burn time: 94 sec. Isp(sl): 245 sec. Diameter: 1.55 m (5.08 ft). Span: 1.00 m (3.20 ft). Length: 17.70 m (58.00 ft). Propellants: Solid. No Engines: 1. Engine: Aerojet SRB. Status: In production. Comments: New SRB boosters in development for Atlas V. Empty mass, vacuum thrust, sea level Isp estimated.
  • Stage 1. 1 x Atlas CCB. Gross Mass: 306,914 kg (676,629 lb). Empty Mass: 22,461 kg (49,518 lb). Thrust (vac): 4,151.998 kN (933,406 lbf). Isp: 338 sec. Burn time: 253 sec. Isp(sl): 311 sec. Diameter: 3.81 m (12.49 ft). Span: 3.81 m (12.49 ft). Length: 32.46 m (106.49 ft). Propellants: Lox/Kerosene. No Engines: 1. Engine: RD-180. Status: In production. Comments: Common Core Booster uses Glushko RD-180 engine and new isogrid tanks. Used in Atlas IV/USAF EELV, Atlas V. Includes 272 kg booster interstage adapter and 1297 kg Centaur interstage adapter.
  • Stage 2. 1 x Centaur V1. Gross Mass: 22,825 kg (50,320 lb). Empty Mass: 2,026 kg (4,466 lb). Thrust (vac): 99.194 kN (22,300 lbf). Isp: 451 sec. Burn time: 894 sec. Diameter: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Span: 3.05 m (10.00 ft). Length: 12.68 m (41.60 ft). Propellants: Lox/LH2. No Engines: 1. Engine: RL-10A-4-2. Status: In production. Centaur is powered by either one or two Pratt & Whitney RL10A-4-2 turbopump-fed engines burning liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. For typical, high-energy mission applications, Centaur will be configured with one RL10 engine. For heavy payload, low earth orbit missions, Centaur will use two RL10 engines to maximize boost phase mission performance. Guidance, tank pressurization, and propellant usage controls for both Atlas and Centaur phases are provided by the inertial navigation unit (INU) located on the Centaur forward equipment module.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 546,700 kg (1,205,200 lb).
Payload: 12,500 kg (27,500 lb).
Height: 58.30 m (191.20 ft).
Diameter: 3.81 m (12.49 ft).
Span: 5.40 m (17.70 ft).
Thrust: 8,590.00 kN (1,931,100 lbf).
Apogee: 185 km (114 mi).
First Launch: 2000.05.24.
Last Launch: 2008.04.14.
Number: 18 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • Eurostar 2000 French communications satellite. 24 launches, 1988.03.11 (Telecom 1C) to 2006.11.08 (Badr 4 ARABSAT 4B). More...
  • FS-1300 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 1989.06.05. More...
  • HS 601 American communications satellite bus. First launch 1990.01.09. 3-axis unified ARC 22 N and one Marquardt 490 N bipropellant thrusters, Sun and Barnes Earth sensors and two 61 Nms 2-axis gimbaled momentum bias wheels. More...
  • MicroSat-100 British microsatellite bus. 9 launches, 1995.07.07 (CERISE) to 2009.07.29. Enlarged version of the basic Surrey Microsat bus. More...
  • AS 2100 American communications satellite. Operational, first launch 1996.09.08 (GE 1). Cost per satellite $100 million for the spacecraft including ground support equipment, but not including launch costs. 3-axis stabilized. More...
  • LM 700 American communications satellite. 98 launches, 1997.05.05 (Iridium 8) to 2002.06.20 (Iridium SV98 ). The LM 700 had its first use in the Iridium system, a commercial communications network comprised of a minimum of 66 LEO spacecraft. More...
  • HS 702 American communications satellite bus. Operational, first launched 1999.12.22. More...
  • SDS-3 American military communications satellite, provided data relay services for optical reconnaissance and other military spacecraft. Operational, first launch 2000.12.06. More...
  • NOSS-3 American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. Operational, first launch 2001.09.08. More...
  • Cubesat American low-cost nanosatellite bus. Used in dozens of launches, the first on 2003.06.30. More...
  • Eurostar 3000 French communications satellite bus. Operational, first launch 2005.03.11 (Inmarsat 4-F1). Third generation of Matra Marconi Space GEO satellite platforms serving mainly commercial telecommunications applications. More...
  • Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter American Mars orbiter. One launch, 2005.08.12. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was the first spacecraft designed from the beginning for aerobraking to place it into the desired orbit around Mars. More...
  • New Horizons American outer planets probe. One launch, 2006.01.19. New Horizons was the first spacecraft targeted on Pluto, the last unvisited body of the nine original planets known at the beginning of the space age. Pluto Flyby. More...
  • Jumpseat-2 American military naval signals reconnaisance satellite. 2 launches, 2006.06.25 (USA 200) to 2008.03.13 (USA 200). More...
  • Midstar American technology satellite. One launch, 2007.03.09. More...
  • Orbital Express Astro American rendezvous technology satellite. One launch, 2007.03.09, Astro. The active satellite of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Orbital Express program. More...
  • RS-300 American technology satellite bus, first launched 2007.03.09. Ball Aerospace's RS-300 was a small, low-cost spacecraft aimed at cost-capped principle investigator led missions for Earth or space science. More...
  • STPSat American technology satellite. Operational, first launch 2007.03.09. More...

See also
  • Atlas V The Atlas V launch vehicle system was a completely new design that succeeded the earlier Atlas series. Atlas V vehicles were based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single Russian RD-180 engine. These could be clustered together, and complemented by a Centaur upper stage, and up to five solid rocket boosters, to achieve a wide range of performance. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Martin American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Martin Marietta Astronautics Group (1956), Denver, CO, USA. More...

Bibliography
  • McDowell, Jonathan, Jonathan's Space Home Page (launch records), Harvard University, 1997-present. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Isakowitz, Steven J,, International Reference to Space Launch Systems Second Edition, AIAA, Washington DC, 1991 (succeeded by 2000 edition).
  • Wilson, Andrew, editor,, Jane's/Interavia Space Directory, Jane's Information Group, Coulsdon, Surrey, 1992 et al.
  • Lockheed Martin Coporation, Atlas Family Fact Sheets, September 1998.. Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Atlas Launch System Mission Planner's Guide, Lockheed Martin Astronautics, January 1999.
  • NASA/GSFC Orbital Information Group Website, Web Address when accessed: here.
  • Space-Launcher.com, Orbital Report News Agency. Web Address when accessed: here.

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