Atlas missile launch from Cape Canaveral in 1957
The SM-65 Atlas was a missile built by the Convair Division of General Dynamics. Originally designed as an ICBM in the late 1950s, Atlas was the foundation for a family of successful space launch vehicles now built by United Launch Alliance. The Atlas rocket family is today used as a launch platform for commercial and military satellites, and other space vehicles.
The Atlas II series had 63 successful flights with the last launched August 31, 2004, it is considered one of the most reliable launchers in the world.
Specifications (Atlas ICBM)
* Length: 75 ft. 1 in. (22.9 m) with Mk 2 re-entry vehicle, 82 ft. 6 in. (25.2 m) with Mk 3
* Diameter: 10 ft. 0 in. (3.05 m)
* Launch weight: 255,000 lb. (116,000 kg) for Atlas D, 260,000 lb. (118,000 kg) for Atlas E and F
* Range: 10,360 miles (16,670 km) for Atlas D, 11,500 miles (18,500 km) for Atlas E and F
* Powerplant: 1 × Rocketdyne LR105 rocket engine with 57,000 lbf (254 kN) thrust, 2 × Rocketdyne LR89 rocket engines with 150,000 lbf (670 kN) thrust, 2 × Rocketdyne LR101 vernier rocket engines with 1,000 lbf (4.4 kN) of thrust
* Warhead: Mk 4 re-entry vehicle with W-38 warhead (4 MT yield) (Atlas F)
* CEP: 4,600 ft (1,400 m)
An Atlas V 551 with the New Horizons Deep Space Probe launches from Lauch Pad 41 in Cape Canaveral.