On the pad: Atlas 5 rocket in position for third flight of 2018
These photos captured on the eve of launch show a United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket standing on its launch pad at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, ready for blastoff on the U.S. Air Force’s AFSPC 11 mission with three satellites on-board.
Liftoff is set during a launch window Saturday that opens at 7:13 p.m. EDT (2313 GMT) and closes at 9:11 p.m. EDT (0111 GMT Sunday). The 197-foot-tall (60-meter) rocket, propelled by an RD-180 main engine and five solid rocket boosters, is shown in these photos Friday at Cape Canaveral’s Complex 41 launch pad.
The AFSPC 11 mission will be the 77th flight of an Atlas 5 rocket, and the third Atlas 5 launch of 2018.
A military communications satellite named CBAS, or Continuous Broadcast Augmenting SATCOM, is the forward payload in the Atlas 5’s upper shroud. A spacecraft named EAGLE, which contains several military experiments including a separating subsatellite named Mycroft, is in the aft position inside the Atlas 5 payload fairing.
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