On Thursday, March 26th at 4:18 pm Eastern time, United Launch Alliance fired off their workhorse Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral with the AEHF-6 satellite for the newly established Space Force. This flight marked the first National Space Security mission for the Space Force since its official formation late last year.
Mighty Atlas roars to life, igniting its RD-180 engine and five Aerojet Rocketdyne AJ-60A solid rocket boosters as birds flee from the launchpad.
(John Kraus for Supercluster)
Atlas V climbs from Space Launch Complex 41 into clear, blue skies at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. (John Kraus for Supercluster)
5 Atlas V solid rocket boosters along with its main engine fire off Pad 41 at Cape Canaveral. (Erik Kuna for Supercluster)
Quick View: Atlas V 551
5 x solid rocket boosters — 1 x RD-180 — 1 x RL-10-C
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13.3 miles away from the liftoff of the AEHF Atlas V. (Erik Kuna for Supercluster)
A 30-second long exposure photograph captures the initial ascent of the Atlas V rocket as it heads to space. (John Kraus for Supercluster)