|Pictures:||Orbiter "Atlantis" (OV104)|
|Airshow:||Launch of STS-125|
|Location:||Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA|
|Date:||11 May 2009, 2:01 PM EDT|
Orbiter: Atlantis (OV-104)
Launch Site: Kennedy Space Center, Launch Pad 39A
Launch Date/Time: May 11, 2009, 2:01 p.m. EDT
Launch Window: 42 minutes (approximately)
Altitude: 297 Nautical Miles (342 miles)
Thrust & speed information:
The three main engines together provide almost 1.2 million pounds of thrust and the two solid rocket boosters provide a total of 6,600,000 pounds of thrust. The total thrust at launch is about 7.8 million pounds.
To achieve orbit, the shuttle must accelerate from zero to a speed of almost 28,968 kilometers per hour (18,000 miles per hour), a speed nine times as fast as the average rifle bullet.
To travel that fast, it must reach an altitude above most of Earth's atmosphere so that friction with the air will not slow it down or overheat it. The journey starts relatively slowly: at liftoff, the shuttle weighs more than 2.04 million kilograms (4.5 million pounds) and it takes eight seconds for the engines and boosters to accelerate the ship to 161 kilometers per hour (100 mph.)
But by the time the first minute has passed, the shuttle is traveling more than 1,609 kilometers per hour (1,000 mph) and it has already consumed more than one and a half million pounds of fuel.
(Text, Mission patch, Crew photo: © NASA)
The pictures above were taken from the north site of the "Space View Park" (Orange Str.) at Titusville, Florida. This point is about 10 mi. away from Launch Pad 39A at Kennedy Space Center.
Related: A brief look inside the Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. [VIDEO]
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