Skip to main content

Atlas Launch Vehicle

Location: El Cajon, CA, USA
Date: 1957
Creator(s): Convair Division of General Dynamics, U.S. Air Force
The Atlas E-2 Space Booster, or launch vehicle, is a modified intercontinental ballistic missile developed by the Convair Division of General Dynamics and the U.S. Air Force. The basic concept of the Atlas system was proven in its first flight on June 11, 1957, followed over the years by the launching more than five hundred vehicles including the Pioneer, Ranger, Mariner, and Surveyor. Many payloads were sent into orbit as detachable sections of Atlas missiles. The E-2 launched the world's first communications satellite in 1958, put the first American into orbit in 1962, and was responsible for sending many other notable payloads into space.
Tags: Era: 1950-1959
Innovation designated by:
All 3 images are Public Domain
A compilation of three successful launches vehicles in action. On the left is the Atlas-Centaur, the center is the Atlas-Agena, and the right is the SM-65A Atlas missile.
Gillespie Fields Airport
1960 Joe Crosson Drive
El Cajon, CA, USA

Gillespie Fields Airport

We hope you enjoyed this essay.

Please support America's only magazine of the history of engineering and innovation, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to Invention & Technology.


Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.
The subscriber's email address.