The United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket successfully blasted off into space today (November 13) from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 5:32 p.m. EST (2232 GMT). It’s transporting classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, the same branch that manages the U.S. government’s fleet of spy satellites. The payload has been named NROL-101, marking ULA’s fifth launch so far in 2020. Read more for a video of the launch and additional information.
The NROL-101 mission also marks the first ULA launch flying the new Northrop Grumman Graphite Epoxy Motors (GEM) 63 solid rocket boosters that burn solid propellant and augment the lifting capacity of rocket’s first stage. These boosters measure 63-inches in diameter and 66-feet in length, with each producing 371,550 pounds of max thrust to augment the 860,200 pounds of thrust produced by the RD-180 main engine to power the Atlas V rocket skyward.
- Bring to life the rocket launch that took humans to the moon with the meter-high (approximately 1: 110 scale) model rocket of the NASA Apollo Saturn V
- The Saturn V rocket kit includes 3 removable rocket stages (first, s-ii second, and s-ivb third) below the launch escape system, command and service module; Plus, there are 2 minifigures to accompany the Lunar Lander and splashdown rocket toy
- After building the Saturn V rocket, you can display the spacecraft horizontally with 3 stands; The Lunar Lander docks with the command and service modules while the Lunar Orbiter sends the rocket into space
- Recreate space adventures with this NASA toy and action figures based off of the included booklet about the manned Apollo Moon missions and the fan designers of this build and play set
- This spaceship toy measures over 39-inches (100cm) high and 6-inches (17cm) in diameter; It includes 1,969 pieces and is ideal for boys and girls 14 years or older
Thank you to our mission partners, the NRO and the United States Space Force for their continued confidence and partnership with ULA. This launch was the inaugural launch of our new GEM 63 solid rocket motors, an instrumental step for ULA to build flight experience in preparation for the Vulcan Centaur, our next generation launch vehicle,” said Gary Wentz, ULA vice president of Government and Commercial Programs.