Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas V 501


Atlas V with 5-m diameter payload fairing, single engine Centaur upper stage, and no strap-on solid boosters. Payloads: 6,319 kg (13,931 lb) to sun synchronous orbit; 3,970 kg (8,752 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 340,000 kg (740,000 lb).
Payload: 6,319 kg (13,931 lb).
Height: 65.50 m (214.80 ft).
Diameter: 3.81 m (12.49 ft).
Span: 3.81 m (12.49 ft).
Thrust: 3,827.00 kN (860,343 lbf).
First Launch: 2010.04.22.
Last Launch: 2011.03.05.
Number: 3 .

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
Associated Spacecraft
  • 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...

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...

Associated Programs
Associated Launch Sites
  • Cape Canaveral America's largest launch center, used for all manned launches. Today only six of the 40 launch complexes built here remain in use. Located at or near Cape Canaveral are the Kennedy Space Center on Merritt Island, used by NASA for Saturn V and Space Shuttle launches; Patrick AFB on Cape Canaveral itself, operated the US Department of Defense and handling most other launches; the commercial Spaceport Florida; the air-launched launch vehicle and missile Drop Zone off Mayport, Florida, located at 29.00 N 79.00 W, and an offshore submarine-launched ballistic missile launch area. All of these take advantage of the extensive down-range tracking facilities that once extended from the Cape, through the Caribbean, South Atlantic, and to South Africa and the Indian Ocean. More...
  • Cape Canaveral LC41 Titan, Atlas V launch complex. Complexes 40 and 41 were constructed as part of the Integrate-Transfer-Launch (ITL) Titan launch facility at the north end of Cape Canaveral in the early 1960s. Over the next three decades, the complexes supported a wide variety of military space missions involving Titan IIIC, Titan 34D and Titan IV. Complex 41 was deactivated at the end of 1977, then upgraded for the Titan IV program in the 1986-88 period. In October 1999, Complex 41 was demolished with high explosives in order for a new pad for launch of the Atlas 5 rocket to be erected. By then it had been the starting point for 27 Titan flights. More...

Associated Stages
  • Atlas CCB Lox/Kerosene propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 306,914/22,461 kg. Thrust 4,152.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 338 seconds. 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. More...
  • Atlas V SRB Solid propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 40,824/4,000 kg. Thrust 1,270.00 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 275 seconds. New SRB boosters in development for Atlas V. Empty mass, vacuum thrust, sea level Isp estimated. More...
  • Centaur V1 Lox/LH2 propellant rocket stage. Loaded/empty mass 22,825/2,026 kg. Thrust 99.19 kN. Vacuum specific impulse 451 seconds. Single-engine Centaur for Atlas V. 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. 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. More...

Atlas V 501 Chronology


2010 April 22 - . 23:52 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 501.
  • USA 212 - . Payload: X-37B OTV 1. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-37. Duration: 224.39 days. USAF Sat Cat: 36514 . COSPAR: 2010-015A. Summary: Reusable unmanned military orbital spaceplane. Landed successfully at Vandenberg at 09:16 GMT on 3 December..

2010 September 21 - . 04:03 GMT - . Launch Site: Vandenberg. Launch Complex: Vandenberg SLC3E. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 501. LV Configuration: Atlas AV-025.
  • USA 215 - . Payload: NROL-41. Nation: USA. Agency: Martin. Class: Surveillance. Type: Military surveillance radar satellite. Spacecraft: Lacrosse. USAF Sat Cat: 37162 . COSPAR: 2010-046A. Apogee: 1,105 km (686 mi). Perigee: 1,102 km (684 mi). Inclination: 123.0000 deg. Summary: Believed to be a surveillance radarsat, in an unusual retrograde, higher altitude orbit than previous versions..

2011 March 5 - . 22:46 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 501.
  • USA 226 - . Payload: OTV-2 F1. Mass: 5,000 kg (11,000 lb). Nation: USA. Class: Manned. Type: Manned spaceplane. Spacecraft: X-37. USAF Sat Cat: 37375 . COSPAR: 2011-010A. Second unmanned Orbital Test Vehicle X-37B reusable spaceplane. Possibly placed in a 400 x 420 km x 40 deg orbit like that used by OTV-1; mission expected to last 9 months with automatic landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base. The Centaur AV-026 upper stage was deorbited over the Indian Ocean on the first orbit.

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