|ULA Atlas V and
SpaceX Falcon Heavy rockets simultaneously stand vertical together for the
first time ever on Jan. 17, 2018, at adjacent launch pads on Florida’s
Spaceport – after the hazy day Atlas V rollout to pad 41 in preparation of its
launch Thursday evening, Jan. 18. The Falcon Heavy at pad 39A awaits its
critical first static fire test. The
Atlas V rolled from right to left as seen from the Playalinda causeway. Credit:
ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REGUGE/PLAYALINDA BEACH, FL – The ULA Atlas V and SpaceX
Falcon Heavy rockets simultaneously stood vertical together for the first time
ever today, Jan. 17 – at adjacent launch pads on Florida’s Spaceport – after
the hazy day Atlas V rollout to pad 41 in preparation of its launch tomorrow
evening, Thursday, Jan. 18, as the Falcon Heavy awaits its critical first static
fire test on pad 39A.
out my exclusive photo gallery for SpaceUpClose.com of the Atlas V at pad 41
and the Falcon Heavy at pad 39A pointing magnificently skyward to the High
Frontier from the Florida Space Coast.
Atlas V and Falcon Heavy were both upright and they were close enough to be
captured in a single shot – it’s just epic!!
Atlas V appears smaller in the photos because its roughly 2 miles further south
from my vantage point compared to the Falcon Heavy. In reality the Atlas V
stands 194 feet tall (60 meters) and the Falcon Heavy stands 229 feet tall (70 meters).
was simply really hard to beat for drama – seeing 2 powerful rockets standing
tall on 2 Space Coast launch pads nearby
to one another at the same time and raised high for the first time.
triple stick Falcon Heavy is a brand new rocket launching on its inaugural
mission on a demonstration test flight that billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk
has given a 50% chance of success. And the venerable United Launch Alliance
Atlas V is launching on its 75th mission with a 100% success rate to
a rare site to see 2 space birds out in the open aiming for liftoff. Two NASA space shuttles on pads 39A and B for
the STS-125 Hubble repair mission in 2009 comes to mind.
both rockets today are respectively serving critical but different purposes:
for US National Security carrying a missile warning/missile defense satellite in
the case of the Atlas V and for a breakthrough for commercial space endeavors in
the case of the debut launch of the triple core Falcon Heavy, that’s soon to become
the world’s most powerful rocket.
was just absolutely amazing and thrilling to see the Atlas V emerge slowly (and
belatedly) from the Vertical Integration Facility (VIF) at pad 41 around 1225
p.m. this afternoon in the shadow of the Falcon Heavy – which was recently
rolled to pad 39A and raised vertical again last week in anticipation of its
first crucial static fire test. The hot fire test igniting all 27 engines has
been delayed several times as SpaceX technicians work diligently to test all
the rockets systems and propellant loading capabilities and resolve technical
took about 35 minutes for the Atlas V rollout from the VIF to launch position,
moving from right to left from my viewing location on the Playalinda causeway
in the National Wildlife Refuge.
Atlas V is launching the Space Based Infrared System (SBIRS) GEO Flight 4
mission for the U.S. Air Force. Liftoff is planned for 7:52 p.m. EST from Space
Launch Complex-41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
L-1 forecast on Wednesday shows a 90
percent chance of favorable weather conditions for launch.
can watch the Atlas V launch live here:
Falcon Heavy static fire test is planned for No Earlier Than (NET) Friday, Jan.
19 at 330 p.m. It is entirely dependent on the Atlas V launch taking place. No SpaceX webcast is planned per normal
practice, but SpaceUpClose will make every attempt to witness it and watch
Atlas V first stage will generate about 1.2 million pounds of liftoff thrust fueled by liquid oxygen
and RP-1 kerosene propellants, when it blasts off from pad 41.
pounds of liftoff thrust fueled by liquid oxygen and
kerosene propellants, when it blasts off from pad 39A.
ULA and NASA and space
reports direct from the Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force
Earth and Planetary science and human spaceflight news: www.kenkremer.com – www.spaceupclose.com
Follow Ken Kremer on