Space: September 12, 2004

Archives

:

The last of the Atlas 2AS launchers blasted off on August 31st, carrying a U.S. spy satellite (exact details of which were classified). The Atlas was one the first American ICBMs, but was retired in the late 1960s and many of the missiles were converted to satellite launchers. Fitted with an additional four solid fuel booster rockets, the Atlas 2AS could put 8.6 tons into low orbit (favored for spy satellites), and 3.8 tons into a high, stationary orbit (used for communications satellites.) The Atlas 2AS, one of the later modifications of the basic Atlas design,  has been used 30 times since 1993. It is being replaced by a new rocket using Russian technology (which is inexpensive, reliable and robust.) Other versions of the Atlas have long been used for satellite launches. The 197 ton Atlas 2AS was the most powerful of the Atlas launchers. The earliest one, like the 1960 Atlas Agena, weighed 124 tons, and could only put about 2.2 tons into low orbit. 

 


X

ad Help Keep Us Online!
 

Help Keep Us Afloat! Go to other sites on the World Wide Web and they look like the a mad marketer has gained control of them. Lots of ads and little content! Ad revenues are down for everyone! We don’t want to follow the crowd. But here is the deal we cannot keep our site relative ad free without your support. Each month we need your subscriptions or contributions plus what meager ad revenue we do receive to stay in business. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

Drake appreciates any help you can give him.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close