It was a smooth launch on a spring evening of the ULA's Atlas V 551 configuration, the most powerful Atlas V variant that has flown to date, on a mission for the U.S. Air Force.
A United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket carrying the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC)-11 mission lifted off from Space Launch Complex-41 on April 14 at 7:13 p.m. EDT. AFSPC-11 is a multi-payload mission. The forward payload is referred to as CBAS (Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM) and the aft spacecraft is EAGLE (EELV Secondary Payload Adapter (ESPA) Augmented Geosynchronous Experiment).
“Today’s launch is a testament to why the ULA team continually serves as our nation’s most reliable and successful launch provider for our nation’s most critical space assets,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs. “I want to thank the entire ULA team, and the phenomenal teamwork of our mission partners.”
This mission was launched aboard an Atlas V Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) 551 configuration vehicle, which includes a 5-meter large Payload Fairing (PLF). The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine. Aerojet Rocketdyne provided the five AJ-60A solid rocket boosters (SRBs) and RL10C-1 engine for the Centaur upper stage.
This is the 77th launch of the Atlas V rocket, ULA’s 4th launch in 2018 and the 127thsuccessful launch since the company was formed in December 2006.
ULA's next launch is the InSight mission for NASA on an Atlas V rocket. The launch is scheduled for May 5 at Space Launch Complex-3 at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.
With more than a century of combined heritage, United Launch Alliance is the Nation’s most experienced and reliable launch service provider. ULA has successfully delivered more than 125 satellites to orbit that aid meteorologists in tracking severe weather, unlock the mysteries of our solar system, provide critical capabilities for troops in the field and enable personal device-based GPS navigation.