Headlines > News > Atlas V With NROL-36 Lifts Off

Atlas V With NROL-36 Lifts Off

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Sep 14, 2012 8:51 am via: US Air Force
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VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. – Team Vandenberg launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex-3 here Sept. 13 at 2:39 p.m.

It was the fifth Atlas V processed at Vandenberg and the 606th Atlas mission in U.S. history.

Team Vandenberg launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload from Space Launch Complex-3 here Sept. 13 at 2:39 p.m. It was the fifth Atlas V processed at Vandenberg and the 606th Atlas mission in U.S. history. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Lael Huss)

Team Vandenberg launched a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket carrying a National Reconnaissance Office payload from Space Launch Complex-3 here Sept. 13 at 2:39 p.m. It was the fifth Atlas V processed at Vandenberg and the 606th Atlas mission in U.S. history. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Lael Huss)

“It’s an honor to work alongside the men and women of Team Vandenberg, United Launch Alliance, the National Reconnaissance Office and our mission partners,” said Col. Nina Armagno, 30th Space Wing commander. “These synergistic relationships are what guide Vandenberg to continual mission success and lead us into the next generation of spaceport excellence.”

Western range launch operations were executed without incident.

The rocket carried a national security payload for the National Reconnaissance Office.

The mission was launched aboard an Atlas V EELV 401 configuration vehicle, which includes a 4-meter diameter payload fairing. The Atlas booster for this mission was powered by the RD AMROSS RD-180 engine and the Centaur upper stage was powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyna RL 10A-4 engine.

In addition to the NROL-36 payload, 11 CubeSats took advantage of available volume and structural capacity of the Atlas V launch vehicle for a ride share. The NRO and ULA partnered to develop an Aft Bulkhead Carrier (ABC) on the Centaur second stage, which is a platform for accommodating auxiliary payloads aboard Atlas V missions. Affixed to the ABC was an auxiliary payload called Operationally Unique Technologies Satellite, or OUTSat, carrying the 11 CubeSats in various configurations.

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