Atlas 5 launches AEHF-1
8/14/10 ~ 7:07am

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An Atlas 5 rocket, standing 20 stories tall and weighing nearly a million pounds, pierces the sky over Cape Canaveral at dawn August 14. Flying with a combination of three 67-foot solid rocket boosters and a five-meter fairing for the first time - the 531 configuration in Atlas-speak - lifts off atop two million pounds of thrust with the first of three planned Advanced Extremely High Frequency military communication satellites, AEHF-1. Worth a combined $6.4 billion they are one of the most expensive satellite sets launched, and will replace the aging Milstar fleet.

First Atlas 531 on the pad


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