Space Coast, FL – On September 11, 2020, ULA had welcomed you to Cape Canaveral’s Vertical Integration Facility. This was the start of another Atlas V launch campaign. The Atlas V prepares for the NROL-101 mission. First step is lifting the first stage aboard the Mobile Launch Platform.
The activities at Cape Canaveral are known collectively as the Launch Vehicle on Stand (LVOS) milestone for NROL-101. Technicians have released the Atlas V first stage from the transportation equipment. This is in preparation for rotating the 107-foot-long booster upright.
United Launch Alliance is using an Atlas V 531 rocket that generates nearly two million pounds of thrust. The two-stage rocket will include a 5-meter diameter payload fairing, 3 solid-fuel boosters and 1 engine on our high-performance Centaur.
The NROL-101 launch will ULA’s 30th mission for the National Reconnaissance Office. Nearly two-thirds of their missions to date have launched U.S. national security payloads for US Space Force and the National Reconnaissance Office.
In the coming days, three Northrop Grumman GEM-63 solid rocket boosters and the Centaur upper stage will be hoisted into the VIF. This is for continued stacking operations. The launch is planned for later this year.
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