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Atlas V Cutaway
Atlas V Cutaway -

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Family: Atlas. Country: USA. Status: Development.

The Atlas V launch vehicle system is based on the 3.8-m (12.5-ft) diameter Common Core Booster (CCB) powered by a single RD-180 engine. When combined with a standard Atlas payload fairing, the configuration is part of the Atlas V 400 series. The Atlas V 500 series combines the CCB with a larger and 5 m diameter payload fairing derived from that used on the Ariane 5 vehicle The Atlas V 500 series can also tailor performance by incorporating from zero to five solid rocket boosters (SRB).

Both Atlas V 400 and 500 configurations incorporate a stretched version of the Centaur upper stage (CIII), which can be configured as a single-engine Centaur (SEC) or a dual engine Centaur (DEC). The Atlas V family of launch vehicles can 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 itís multiple configuration possibilities, and is indicated as follows: the first digit identifies the diameter class (in meters) of the payload fairing (4 or 5 m); the second digit indicates the number of solid rocket motors used (zero for Atlas V 400 and zero to five for Atlas V 500); the third digit represents the number of Centaur engines (one or two). Payload performance of the possible variants are as follows (note 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


LEO Payload: 12,500 kg. to: 185 km Orbit. at: 28.5 degrees. Payload: 5,000 kg. to a: Geosynchronous transfer trajectory. Liftoff Thrust: 875,900 kgf. Total Mass: 546,700 kg. Core Diameter: 5.4 m. Total Length: 58.3 m. Launch Price $: 77.00 million. in 1998 price dollars. Cost comments: Indicated price is for Atlas V 401 model. 500 series will be priced at $ 110 million, HLV models $ 170 million.


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Last update 12 March 2001.
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