Atlas It is an American two-section carrier. It weighs more than 120 tons, its total length is 25.14 m., The diameter corresponding to its intermediate section is 3 m. and the maximum speed of 29,000 km / h.
It was born in 1956 as an intercontinental ballistic missile (in ICBM, of Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) and, after some modifications, was used as a launching carrier in the Mercury Project that made the first human flight of the United States over a terrestrial orbit.
Another mission as a rocket for non-military investigations was the one carried out within the scope of the Score Project. The Atlas, launched on December 18, 1958, put a load of 3,970 kg into orbit, of which 68 were of instruments. The Score satellite carried the magnetic tape recording of a message from the then president of the United States, Eisenhower: for the first time, the human voice was transmitted to Earth from space.
The first flight test of the Atlas as a space transporter was successfully carried out in 1958. However, it was followed by five explosions produced immediately after takeoff, during as many launch tests. After the elimination of some defects, the missile could be declared operational.
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