ULA calls the Atlas V 551 “The Beast” producing more than two and a half million pounds of thrust at liftoff!

This rocket is the most powerful in the Atlas V fleet. In its 15 years of service, the 551 has launched groundbreaking missions for our nation including historic science missions like New Horizons, the first mission to Pluto and the Juno mission to critically important national security missions including AEHF-6 the first flight for the U.S. Space Force.

There have been eleven Atlas V 551 launches with the first one on January 19th 2006. It can carry 19,620 pounds (8,900 kg) to GTO or 41,570 pounds (18,850 kg) to LEO orbit.

Liftoff is expected on Sunday December 5th at 4:04 AM EDT (9:04 UTC) to 6:04 AM EDT (11:04 UTC) a two hour window.

Go Atlas. Go Centaur. Go STP-3!

Photos by Scott Schilke for spacenews.lu & space-news.es