Delivering spacecraft to orbit safely, reliably and on time

United Launch Alliance’s Atlas V rocket is one of the world’s most reliable launch vehicles used to deliver exploration spacecraft, satellites and classified payloads into space for NASA, the United States Air Force, the National Reconnaissance Office and commercial customers. Atlas V launches from Space Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., and Space Launch Complex-3E at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.


Reliability: The Atlas V has achieved 100 percent mission success since first taking flight in August 2002.

Flexibility: In addition to the standard common core booster, Atlas V can use up to five solid rocket booster motors, a Centaur upper stage in single- or dual-engine configuration and one of several payload fairing options to accommodate a variety of payloads and mission profiles.

Precision Performance: The high-energy Centaur upper stage features a precision control system and multiple-restart capability to accurately place payloads into orbit.

Our Role

Upper Stage: Depending on mission requirements, the Atlas V’s Centaur upper stage is powered by one or two Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10 engines using cryogenic liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen propellants. The RL10 has an impressive record with nearly 500 engines launched on various vehicles and approximately 950 successful in-space firings.

Solid Rocket Boosters: Aerojet Rocketdyne manufactures the AJ-60A strap-on solid rocket booster motors that are used to provide additional thrust at liftoff. Up to five AJ-60A solid rocket booster motors may be added to the Atlas V depending on mission requirements.

Control Thrusters: Twelve Aerojet Rocketdyne MR-106 Reaction Control System thrusters provide pitch, yaw and roll control for the Centaur upper stage, as well as settling burns.

Pressure Vessels: ARDÉ, a subsidiary of Aerojet Rocketdyne based in New Jersey, manufactures the pressure vessels that support the first and second stages of the Atlas V launch vehicle.