Stage 1 Atlas V Rocket

Stage I atlas rocket is the engine with propulsive energy for ascent.
Atlas V Launch Vehicle, Stage 1 Atlas Booster
Stage I atlas rocket is the engine with propulsive energy for ascent.

Stage 1: Atlas V Rocket

Centerpiece of the first stage is the common core booster, 106.5 feet (32.46 meters) in length and 12.5 feet (3.81 meters) in diameter. It has a throttleable, RD-180 engine from a joint venture of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, West Palm Beach, Fla., and NPO Energomash, Moscow. Thermally stable kerosene fuel (type RP-1) and liquid oxygen is loaded shortly before launch into cylindrical fuel tanks that make up about half of the total height of the vehicle. The common core booster can provide thrust of up to about 850,000 pounds (3.8 million newtons) at full throttle.



The major elements of the Atlas V-541 rocket that were used for the Mars Science Laboratory mission are: