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Atlas Rocket Launch Successful With Russian-Built Engines

Image: Atlas Rocket Launch Successful With Russian-Built Engines
(Michael Brown/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 10:12 AM

An Atlas rocket launch at Cape Canaveral was successful on Wednesday, just a day after NASA’s Antares rocket exploded upon takeoff in Virginia.

NBC affiliate WESH-TV reported that both rockets have Russian-built engines and share common parts. About 75,000 gallons of fuel and oxygen were burnt to propel the rocket into an orbit 11,000 miles high.

Carrying a $245 million Air Force navigation satellite, the Atlas V rocket lifted off around 1:21 p.m. from Space Launch Complex-40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The GPS satellite is a common one, used for traffic monitoring, missile defense, etc.

"The improved capabilities of the GPS 2F satellite continues the legacy of delivering global positioning, navigation and timing services," said Col. Bill Cooley, director of the Air Force's Global Positioning System Directorate, according to CBS News.

"We have a legacy to be very proud of, and we will continue to live up to our commitments by sustaining and enhancing GPS mission capabilities to ensure we continue to deliver a healthy, stable and robust GPS constellation for users around the world."

A second stage engine kicked in over four minutes after the launch, after the RD-180 main engine shut off as planned. The second engine burned for almost 13 minutes.

Once the rocket reached orbit, the satellite was released roughly a half hour later.

Aerojet Rocketdyne refurbished and modernized both of the rockets' engines, and tested them extensively before launch.



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The Atlas rocket launch at Cape Canaveral was successful on Wednesday, just a day after NASA’s Antares rocket exploded upon takeoff in Virginia.
atlas, rocket, launch, successful
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2014-12-30
Thursday, 30 Oct 2014 10:12 AM
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