Encyclopedia Astronautica
Atlas V 521


American orbital launch vehicle. Atlas V with 5-m diameter payload fairing, single engine Centaur upper stage, and two strap-on solid boosters. Payloads: 10,161 kg (22,401 lb) to sun synchronous orbit; 6,485 kg (14,297 lb) to geosynchronous transfer orbit.

Status: Active.
Gross mass: 433,000 kg (954,000 lb).
Payload: 10,161 kg (22,401 lb).
Height: 65.50 m (214.80 ft).
Diameter: 3.81 m (12.49 ft).
Span: 6.91 m (22.67 ft).
Thrust: 6,549.00 kN (1,472,273 lbf).
First Launch: 2003.07.17.
Last Launch: 2004.12.17.
Number: 2 .

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 521 Chronology


2003 July 17 - . 23:45 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 521. LV Configuration: Atlas V 521 AV-003.
  • Rainbow 1 (Cablevision 1) - . Payload: A2100AX. Mass: 4,328 kg (9,541 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: Cablevision. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 27852 . COSPAR: 2003-033A. Apogee: 35,795 km (22,241 mi). Perigee: 35,779 km (22,231 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. Summary: Delayed from May 8 As of 2007 Mar 10 located at 61.68W drifting at 0.011W degrees per day..

2004 December 17 - . 12:07 GMT - . Launch Site: Cape Canaveral. Launch Complex: Cape Canaveral LC41. Launch Pad: SLC41. LV Family: Atlas V. Launch Vehicle: Atlas V 521. LV Configuration: Atlas V 521 AV-005.
  • AMC-16 (GE-16) - . Payload: A2100AX. Mass: 4,200 kg (9,200 lb). Nation: USA. Agency: SES Americom. Manufacturer: Lockheed. Program: Americom. Class: Communications. Type: Civilian communications satellite. Spacecraft: AS 2100. USAF Sat Cat: 28472 . COSPAR: 2004-048A. Apogee: 35,791 km (22,239 mi). Perigee: 35,781 km (22,233 mi). Inclination: 0.1000 deg. Period: 1,436.10 min. AMC-16, like AMC-15, was a hybrid Ku/Ka-band satellite built by Lockheed Martin and based on the A2100 spacecraft platform. The spacecraft was to become operational in early 2005 from 85 West with a 15 year design life. The satellite carried 24 x 36 MHz/140 W Ku-band transponders and 12 x 125MHz/75 W spot beams. Coverage included the continental United States, Alaska, and Hawaii. Launch was delayed from December 6 and 16. As of 2007 Mar 9 located at 118.75W drifting at 0.002W degrees per day.

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