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ULA Tweetup - Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
SBIRS GEO-2 (Atlas V)
18 - 19 March 2013

United Launch Alliance (ULA) held a social media gathering for the launch of an Atlas V rocket carrying the SBIRS GEO-2 satellite into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. ULA formed in 2006 to consolidate the Atlas and Delta launch vehicle families in an endeavor to streamline and economize the Expendable Launch Vehicle market.

18 March 2013 - Page One of Five

On the bus during roll call as we head out to watch the Atlas V rocket being moved to the pad at Space Launch Complex 41.

We walked up to a camera pad atop a hill that gave a great view of the surrounding area. Looking south can be seen at extreme left the Atlantic Ocean then, about the middle of the image over the bus, Complex 37 where the Delta rocket is launched and, at right, Complex 40 where SpaceX launches the Falcon rocket.
Joe Fust, in the purple shirt, works for ULA doing spacecraft integration and was our guide to the Atlas V rocket during the rollout. The Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) where the Atlas V rocket is assembled for flight is visible at center on the horizon.
A group shot taken while waiting for the rollout to begin.
The Atlas V makes its appearance moving slowly out of the VIF.
The Atlas V is atop a Mobile Launch Platform being hauled by train engines along a specially built rail line.
This Atlas V rocket is flying in the 401 configuration without solid rocket boosters. An AV 401 can carry approximately 10,470 pounds into geosynchronous orbit.
The speed of the rollout is slow enough for a person to walk alongside the rocket as it travels to the pad.
The four towers are part of the lightning protection system.
On the pad! Go to Page Two of Five > > >
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