USSF-51

Launch Overview

Liftoff Time
March 2024 (00:00 UTC)

Complex Overview

Launch Facility
Cape Canaveral, FL, USA
Launch Pad
Space Launch Complex 41
Turnaround Time
3 months

Who is ULA?

United Launch Alliance (ULA) is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin Space Systems and Boeing Defense, Space & Security. ULA was formed in December 2006 by combining the teams at these companies which provide spacecraft launch services to the government of the United States. ULA launches from both coasts of the US. They launch their Atlas V vehicle from LC-41 in Cape Canaveral and LC-3E at Vandeberg. Their Delta IV launches from LC-37 at Cape Canaveral and LC-6 at Vandenberg.

What Is Atlas V 551?

Atlas V is an expendable launch system in the Atlas rocket family. It was formerly operated by Lockheed Martin and is now operated by United Launch Alliance (ULA), a joint venture with Boeing. Each Atlas V rocket uses a Russian-built RD-180 engine burning kerosene and liquid oxygen to power its first stage and an American-built RL10 engine burning liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen to power its Centaur upper stage. The RD-180 engines are provided by RD Amross, while Aerojet Rocketdyne provides both the RL10 engines and the strap-on boosters used in some configurations. The standard payload fairing sizes are 4 or 5 meters in diameter and of various lengths. Fairings sizes as large as 7.2 m in diameter and up to 32.3 m in length have been considered. The rocket is assembled in Decatur, Alabama and Harlingen, Texas.

Engines

GEM 60

GEM 60 was a 60-inch-diameter (1,500 mm) solid motor used on the Delta IV family of launch vehicles, used with and without thrust vector control.

RD-180

The RD-180 is derived from the RD-170/RD-171 line of rockets which were used in the Solviet Enerqia launch vehicle

RL10A-1

Three RL-10 versions are in production for the Centaur upper stage of the Atlas V and the Delta Cryogenic Second Stage(DCSS) for the Delta IV

Mission Overviw

Classified payload for the US Space Force.

Mission Type
Government/Top Secret
Orbit
N/A
Customer
United States Space Force

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