Atlas V



Get to Space Safely and on Time

  • 100% launch success founded on a heritage of more than 600 Atlas program launches.

  • Delivers the most sensitive and critical missions – including planetary exploration missions, classified defense systems and key commercial assets.

  • Launching astronauts to the International Space Station aboard Boeing’s Starliner capsule.

  • Atlas V Launches

  • Atlas V Photos


Modular design to accommodate a full range of mission requirements

Atlas V uses a standard common core booster, up to five solid rocket boosters (SRBs), a Centaur upper stage in a single- or dual-engine configuration, and one of several sizes of payload fairings.

Centaur is the world's highest-performing upper stage. The pressure-stabilized tanks combined with the lightweight Aerojet Rocketdyne RL10C-1 engine provides industry best thrust-to-weight ratio. The stage has demonstrated long-coast relight capability that enables it to service any orbital need.


Find the optimal configuration for your spacecraft at


Optimal orbit for each customer, delivering industry-best spacecraft orbital insertion accuracy














4,750 kg

10,470 lbs

9,800 kg


8,080 kg

17,820 lbs

8,910 kg

19,640 lbs


1,935 kg

4,270 lbs

5,950 kg

13,110 lbs

12,030 kg

26,530 lbs

9,980 kg

22,020 lbs

10,670 kg

23,530 lbs


2,480 kg

5,460 lbs

6,890 kg

15,180 lbs

13,600 kg

29,980 lbs

11,140 kg

24,560 lbs

12,060 kg

26,600 lbs


2,820 kg

6,210 lbs

7,700 kg

16,970 lbs

15,260 kg

33,660 lbs

12,310 kg

26,750 lbs

13,250 kg

29,220 lbs



3,780 kg

8,330 lbs

8,210 kg

18,100 lbs

6,770 kg

14,930 lbs

7,540 kg

16,630 lbs



5,250 kg

11,570 lbs

11,000 kg

24,250 lbs

9,060 kg

19,990 lbs

10,160 kg

22,410 lbs


2,540 kg

5,610 lbs

6,480 kg

14,280 lbs

13,500 kg

29,760 lbs

11,160 kg

24,610 lbs

12,510 kg

27,590 lbs


3,080 kg

6,800 lbs

7,450 kg

16,420 lbs

15,530 kg

34,250 lbs

12,880 kg

28,410 lbs

14,480 kg

31,920 lbs


3,530 kg

7,800 lbs

8,290 kg

18,270 lbs

17,410 kg

38,400 lbs

14,480 kg

31,940 lbs

16,290 kg

35,920 lbs


3,850 kg

8,500 lbs

8,900 kg

19,620 lbs

18,850 kg

41,570 lbs

15,760 kg

34,750 lbs

17,720 kg

39,080 lbs

GEO (Geosynchronous Orbit)=35,786 km Circular at 0 deg
GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit)=35,786 km x 185 km at 27.0 deg 
LEO (Low Earth Orbit-Reference) =200 km circular at 28.7 deg or 90 deg
LEO ISS (Low Earth Orbit-International Space Station) =407 km circular at 51.6 deg

Payload Fairings

The payload fairing (PLF) provides a controlled, safe environment for spacecraft during ascent. All ULA PLFs are configured for off-pad payload encapsulation to enhance payload safety and security and minimize on-pad time.

The Atlas V payload fairings are configurable to fit a variety of spacecraft heights, both 4-m and 5-m diameter variants are available in three lengths. The 4-m PLF is a metallic design, configured by adding additional cylindrical plugs to achieve the desired length. The 5-m PLF is a carbon composite bi-sector design manufactured by ULA partner RUAG Space.



Main Engine

Delivering more than 860,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff and an impressive range of continuous throttling capability, the RD-180 main engine is a powerful combination of innovation and performance. Designed and manufactured by NPO Energomash, the liquid oxygen/liquid kerosene, two-thrust-chamber RD-180 engine is a complete propulsion unit equipped with hydraulics for control valve actuation and thrust vector gimbaling, pneumatics for valve actuation and system purging, and a thrust frame to distribute loads.

  • Nominal Thrust (sea level): 860,300 lbs

  • Specific Impulse (sea level): 311 seconds

  • Length: 140 in Weight: 12,081 lbs

  • Fuel/Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Kerosene

Solid Rocket Boosters

When missions demand additional thrust at liftoff, Atlas integrates up to three Aerojet Rocketdyne solid rocket boosters (SRBs) on the Atlas V 400 series launch vehicle and up to five SRBs on the Atlas V 500 series vehicles.

  • Peak Vacuum Thrust: 380,000 lbs

  • Specific Impulse: 279.3 seconds

  • Length: 787 in

  • Maximum Diameter: 62.2 in

  • Weight: 102,950 lbs

  • Nominal Burn Time: 88.3 seconds

Upper Stage

Both the Atlas V and the Delta IV rely on the RL10 propulsion system to power their second stages. Logging an impressive record of nearly 400 successful flights and nearly 700 firings in space, RL10 engines, manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne, harness the power of high-energy liquid hydrogen. The RL10 boasts a precision control system and restart capability to accurately place payloads into orbit.

The Atlas V Centaur upper stage is powered by the RL10C and can be configured with either one or two engines.

  • Nominal Thrust: 22,900 lbs

  • Specific Impulse: 450.5 seconds

  • Fuel/Oxidizer: Liquid Hydrogen/Liquid Oxygen

  • Diameter: 46 in

  • Weight: 367 lbs

Delta IV

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Delta II

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