A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket will deliver an advanced communications payload into geostationary orbit next week, and will mark the final Atlas flight of the year.
Launch of the fifth Atlas 5-431 mission of 2009 is planned for 12:50:01 am EST, on November 23 from launch complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. The launch window closes at 2:20 am.
A previous launch try on November 14 was cancelled due to an electrical issue on the bronze core, or first stage, booster.
Once launched, the bronze and white rocket with three strap-on solid rocket boosters, will carry the Intelsat and a secondary DoD payload through the dynamics of launch like a farmer with a basket of eggs -- gently. The rocket's flight path will carry it toward the southeast out over the central to southern Atlantic Ocean.
Fifty seconds into the flight, the rocket will steer through MAX-Q, when the forces of the Atlas pushing forward meet up with the dense atmosphere.
Two minutes, eight seconds into the flight, the trio of SRB's will separate from the bronze core first stage. The first stage's RD-180 engine will continued the rocket's ascent for another two minutes and 22 seconds.
The Atlas will carry into geostationary orbit the Intelsat 14 satellite which was built by Space Systems/Loral. A second satellite called the Internet Router in Space (IRIS) project will be a test bed for future military space based communications.
Intelsat 14 will provide both audio and video service to America, Europe and Africa with it's 40 C-band and 22 ku-Band antennas.